BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS DREAM HOUSE KINGS #1 BY ROBERT LIPARULO


and his book:



Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2008)




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert Liparulo is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly. He has sold or optioned three screenplays.

Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.

Here are some of his titles:

Comes a Horseman

Germ

Deadfall




AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



“A house of which one knows every room isn't worth living in.”

—Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa






Prologue


Thirty years ago

The walls of the house absorbed the woman’s screams, until they felt to her as muffled and pointless as yelling underwater. Still, her lungs kept pushing out cries for help. Her attacker carried her over his shoulder. The stench of his sweat filled her nostrils. He paid no heed to her frantic writhing, or the pounding of her fists on his back, or even her fingernails, which dug furrows into his flesh. He simply lumbered, as steadily as a freight train, through the corridors of the big house.

She knew where they were heading, but not where she would end up. In this house, nothing was normal, nothing as it appeared. So while she knew in advance the turns her attacker would take, which hallways and doors he would traverse, their destination was as unknowable as a faraway galaxy. And that meant her taking would be untraceable. She would be unreachable to searchers. To would-be rescuers. To her family— and that realization terrified her more than being grabbed out of her bed. More than the flashes of imagined cruelty she would suffer away from the protection of the people who loved her. More than death.

But then she saw something more terrifying: her children, scrambling to catch up, to help. Their eyes were wide, streaming. They stumbled up the narrow staircase behind her attacker, seeming far below, rising to meet her. The thought of them following her into the chasm of her fate was more than she could stand.

“Go back,” she said, but by this time her throat was raw, her voice weak.

The man reached the landing and turned into another corridor.

Temporarily out of sight, her son yelled, “Mom!” His seven-year-old voice was almost lost in the shrillness of his panic. He appeared on the landing. His socked feet slipped on the hardwood floor and he went down. Behind him, his little sister stopped. She was frightened and confused, too young to do anything more than follow her brother. He clambered up and started to run again.

A hand gripped his shoulder, jarring him back.

The boy’s father had something in his fist: the lamp from his nightstand! He past the boy in the hallway. His bare feet gave him traction.

Thank God, she thought.

He reached her in seconds. With the lamp raised over his head, he grabbed her wrist. He pulled, tried to anchor himself to the floor, to the carpeted runner now covering the wood planks. But the brute under her walked on, tugging him with them. The man yanked on her arm. Pain flared in her shoulder. He might as well have tried pulling her from a car as it sped passed.

She caught a glimpse of the bizarrely shaped light fixtures on the corridor walls—mostly carved faces with glowing eyes. The bulbs flickered in time with her racing heart. She could not remember any of the lights doing that before. It was as though the electrical current running through the wires was responding to a disruption in the way things were supposed to be, a glitch in reality.

“Henry,” she said, pleading, hopeful.

His grip tightened as he stumbled along behind them. He brought the lamp’s heavy base down on her assailant. If the man carrying her flinched, she did not feel it. If he grunted or yelled out, she did not hear it.

What he did was stop. He spun around so quickly, the woman’s husband lost his grip on her. And now facing the other direction, she lost sight of him. Being suddenly denied her husband’s visage felt like getting the wind knocked out of her. She realized he was face to face with the man who’d taken her, and that felt like watching him step off a cliff.

“Nooo!” she screamed, her voice finding some volume. “Henry!”

His hand gripped her ankle, then broke free. The man under her moved in a violent dance, jostling her wildly. He spun again and her head struck the wall.

The lights went out completely . . . . but no, not the lights . . . her consciousness. It came back to her slowly, like the warmth of fire on a blistery day.

She tasted blood. She’d bitten her tongue. She opened her eyes. Henry was crumpled on the floor, receding as she was carried away. The children stood over him, touching him, calling him. Her son’s eyes found hers again. Determination hardened his jaw, pushed away the fear . . . at least a measure of it. He stepped over his father’s legs, coming to her rescue. Henry raised his head, weary, stunned. He reached for the boy, but missed.

Over the huffing breath of the man, the soft patter of her son’s feet reached her ears. How she’d loved that sound, knowing it was bringing him to her. Now she wanted it to carry him away, away from this danger. Her husband called to him in a croaking, strained voice. The boy kept coming.

She spread her arms. Her left hand clutched at open air, but the right one touched a wall. She clawed at it. Her nails snagged the wallpaper. One nail peeled back from her finger and snapped off.

Her assailant turned again, into a room—one of the small antechambers, like a mud room before the real room. He strode straight toward the next threshold.

Her son reached the first door, catching it as it was closing.

“Mom!” Panic etched old-man lines into his young face. His eyes appeared as wide as his mouth. He banged his shoulder on the jamb, trying to hurry in.

“Stay!” she said. She showed him her palms in a “stop” gesture, hoping he would understand, hoping he would obey. She took in his face, as a diver takes in a deep breath before plunging into the depths. He was fully in the antechamber now, reaching for her with both arms, but her captor had already opened the second door and was stepping through. The door was swinging shut behind him.

The light they were stepping into was bright. It swept around her, through the opening, and made pinpoints of the boy’s irises. His blue eyes dazzled. His cheeks glistened with tears. He wore his favorite pajamas—little R2D2s and C3P0s all over them, becoming threadbare and too small for him.

“I—“ she started, meaning to say she loved him, but the brute bounded downward, driving his shoulder into her stomach. Air rushed from her, unformed by vocal chords, tongue, lips. Just air.

“Moooom!” her son screamed. Full of despair. Reaching. Almost to the door.
“Mo—“

The door closed, separating her from her family forever.




1


Now

Saturday, 4:55 P.M.

“Nothing but trees,” the bear said in Xander’s voice. It repeated itself: “Nothing but trees.”

Xander King turned away from the car window and stared into the smiling furry face, with its shiny half-bead eyes and stitched-on nose. He said, “I mean it, Toria. Get that thing out of my face. And turn it off.”

His sister’s hands moved quickly over the teddy bear’s paws, all the while keeping it suspended three inches in front of Xander. The bear said, “I mean it, Toria. Get that—”

At fifteen years old, Xander was too old to be messing around with little-kid toys. He seized the bear, squeezing the paw that silenced it.

“Mom!” Toria yelled. ”Make him give Wuzzy back!” She grabbed for it.

Xander turned away from her, tucking Wuzzy between his body and the car door. Outside his window, nothing but trees—as he had said and Wuzzy had agreed. It reminded him of a movie, as almost everything did. This time, it was The Edge, about a bear intent on eating Anthony Hopkins. An opening shot of the wilderness where it was filmed showed miles and miles of lush forest. Nothing but trees.

A month ago, his dad had announced that he had accepted a position as principal of a school six hundred miles away, and the whole King family had to move from the only home Xander had ever known. It was a place he had never even heard of: Pinedale, almost straight north from their home in Pasadena. Still in California, but barely. Pinedale. The name itself said “hick,” “small,” and “If you don’t die here, you’ll wish you had.” Of course, he had screamed, begged, sulked, and threatened to run away. But in the end here he was, wedged in the back seat with his nine-year-old sister and twelve-year-old brother.

The longer they drove, the thicker the woods grew and the more miserable he became. It was bad enough, leaving his friends, his school—everything!—but to be leaving them for hicksville, in the middle of nowhere, was a stake through his heart.

“Mom!” Toria yelled again, reaching for the bear.

Xander squeezed closer to the door, away from her. He must have put pressure on the bear in the wrong place: It began chanting in Toria’s whiny voice: “Mom! Mom! Mom!”

He frantically squeezed Wuzzy’s paws, but could not make it stop.

“Mom! Mom! Mom!”

The controls in the bear’s arms weren’t working. Frustrated by its continuous one-word poking at his brain—and a little concerned he had broken it and would have to buy her a new one—he looked to his sister for help.

She wasn’t grabbing for it anymore. Just grinning. One of those see-what-happens-when-you-mess-with-me smiles.

“Mom! Mom! Mom!”

Xander was about to show her what happened when you messed with him—the possibilities ranged from a display of his superior vocal volume to ripping Mr. Wuzzy’s arms right off—when the absurdity of it struck him. He cracked up.

“I mean it,” he laughed. “This thing is driving me crazy.” He shook the bear at her. It continued yelling for their mother.

His brother David, who was sitting on the other side of Toria and who had been doing a good job of staying out of the fight, started laughing too. He mimicked the bear, who was mimicking their sister: “Mom! Mom! Mom!”

Mrs. King shifted around in the front passenger seat. She was smiling, but her eyes were curious.

“Xander broke Wuzzy!” Toria whined. “He won’t turn off.” She pulled the bear out of Xander’s hands.

The furry beast stopped talking: “Mo—” Then, blessed silence.

Toria looked from brother to brother and they laugh again.

Xander shrugged. “I guess he just doesn’t like me.”

“He only likes me,” Toria said, hugging it.

“Oh, brother,” David said. He went back to the PSP game that had kept him occupied most of the drive.

Mom raised her eyebrows at Xander and said, “Be nice.”

Xander rolled his eyes. He adjusted his shoulders and wiggled his behind, nudging Toria. “It’s too cramped back here. It may be an SUV, but it isn’t big enough for us anymore.”

“Don’t start that,” his father warned from behind the wheel. He angled the rearview mirror to see his son.

“What?” Xander said, acting innocent.

“I did the same thing with my father,” Dad said. “The car’s too small . . . it uses too much gas . . . it’s too run down . . . ”

Xander smiled. “Well, it is.”

“And if we get a new car, what should we do with this one?”

“Well . . . .” Xander said. “You know. It’d be a safe car for me.” A ten-year-old Toyota 4Runner wasn’t his idea of cool wheels, but it was transportation.

Dad nodded. “Getting you a car is something we can talk about, okay? Let’s see how you do.”

“I have my driver’s permit. You know I’m a good driver.”

“He is,” Toria chimed in.

David added, “And then he can drive us to school.”

“I didn’t mean just the driving,” Dad said. He paused, catching Xander’s eyes in the mirror. “I mean with all of this, the move and everything.”

Xander stared out the window again. He mumbled, “Guess I’ll never get a car, then.”

“Xander?” Dad said. “I didn’t hear that.”

“Nothing.”

“He said he’ll never get a car,” Toria said.

Silence. David’s thumbs clicked furiously over the PSP buttons. Xander was aware of his mom watching him. If he looked, her eyes would be all sad-like, and she would be frowning in sympathy for him. He thought maybe his dad was looking too, but only for an opportunity to explain himself again. Xander didn’t want to hear it. Nothing his old man said would make this okay, would make ripping him out of his world less awful than it was.

“Dad, is the school’s soccer team good? Did they place?” David asked. Xander knew his brother wasn’t happy about the move either, but jumping right into the sport he was so obsessed about went a long way toward making the change something he could handle. Maybe Xander was like that three years ago, just rolling with the punches. He couldn’t remember. But now he had things in his life David didn’t: friends who truly mattered, ones he thought he’d spend the rest of his life with. Kids didn’t think that way. Friends could come and go and they adjusted. True, Xander had known his current friends for years, but they hadn’t become like blood until the last year or so.

That got him thinking about Danielle. He pulled his mobile phone from his shirt pocket and checked it. No text messages from her. No calls. She hadn’t replied to the last text he’d sent. He keyed in another: “Forget me already? JK.” But he wasn’t Just Kidding. He knew the score: Out of sight, out of mind. She had said all the right things, like We’ll talk on the phone all the time; You come down and see me and I’ll come up to see you, okay? and I’ll wait for you.

Yeah, sure you will, he thought. Even during the past week, he’d sensed a coldness in her, an emotional distancing. When he’d told his best friend, Dean had shrugged. Trying to sound world-wise, he’d said, “Forget her, dude. She’s a hot young babe. She’s gotta move on. You too. Not like you’re married, right?” Dean had never liked Danielle.

Xander tried to convince himself she was just another friend he was forced to leave behind. But there was a different kind of ache in his chest when he thought about her. A heavy weight in his stomach.

Stop it! he told himself. He flipped his phone closed.

On his mental list of the reasons to hate the move to Pinedale, he moved on to the one titled “career.” He had just started making short films with his buddies, and was pretty sure it was something he would eventually do for a living. They weren’t much, just short skits he and his friends acted out. He and Dean wrote the scripts, did the filming, used computer software to edit an hour of video into five-minute films, and laid music over them. They had six already on YouTube—with an average rating of four-and-a-half stars and a boatload of praise. Xander had dreams of getting a short film into the festival circuit, which of course would lead to offers to do music videos and commercials, probably an Oscar and onto feature movies starring Russell Crowe and Jim Carrey. Pasadena was right next to Hollywood, a twenty-minute drive. You couldn’t ask for a better place to live if you were the next Steven Spielberg. What in God’s creation would he find to film in Pinedale? Trees, he thought glumly, watching them fly past his window.

Dad, addressing David’s soccer concern, said, “We’ll talk about it later.”

Mom reached through the seatbacks to shake Xander’s knee. “It’ll work out,” she whispered.

“Wait a minute,” David said, understanding Dad-talk as well as Xander did. “Are you saying they suck—or that they don’t have a soccer team? You told me they did!”

“I said later, Dae.” His nickname came from Toria’s inability as a toddler to say David. She had also called Xander Xan, but it hadn’t stuck.

David slumped down in his seat.

Xander let the full extent of his misery show on his face for his mother.

She gave his knee a shake, sharing his misery. She was good that way. “Give it some time,” she whispered. “You’ll make new friends and find new things to do. Wait and see.”

DRAGON LIGHT by DONITA K PAUL

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: />
Donita K. Paul is a retired teacher and award-winning author of seven novels, including DragonSpell, DragonQuest, DragonKnight, and DragonFire. When not writing, she is often engaged in mentoring writers of all ages. Donita lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she is learning to paint–walls and furniture! Visit her website at www.dragonkeeper.us.

The Books of the DragonKeeper Series:

DragonSpell
DragonQuest
DragonKnight
DragonFire
DragonLight

Visit her website.


READ FIRST CHAPTER CLICK ON DRAGON LIGHT BOOK COVER

SKID by Rene Gutteridge



Author Bio:~
Rene Gutteridge is the author of twelve novels, including the Boo series, the Storm series, and the novelization for The Ultimate Gift, as well as Scoop and Snitch, the first two Occupational Hazard novels. She lives with her husband, Sean, and their two children in Oklahoma City.


Blog tour for Skid by Rene Gutteridge

Blissfully unaware that Atlantica Flight 1945 from Atlanta to Amsterdam is about to make aviation history, First Officer Danny McSweeney focuses his energies on navigating the turbulent personalities of an eccentric female captain, a co-pilot with a talent for tactless comments and conspiracy theories, and a lead flight attendant with an outsized attitude that definitely exceeds the limits for carry-on baggage.On the other side of the cockpit door, the unscheduled in-flight entertainment includes a potbellied pig, a jittery diamond courier, and the recently jilted Lucy Meredith, whose personal mantra of “What Would Oprah Do?” will be challenged by the sudden appearance of her ex and his new traveling partner. On her left sits Hank Hazard, whose unusually polite but constant requests–prompted by his covert role as a spy for the airline–test the limits of the crew’s customer service.But as Lucy and the rest of the crew discover, Hank’s odd behavior is linked to a quiet faith that may play a key role in the fate of everyone on board. Especially when an unexpected traveler sets this already bumpy flight on a course toward the unfriendly skies.

CHRISTIAN FICTION DAY AT LIFE WAY - CRESTON MAPES AUTHOR OF NOBODY

Here I am cracking up over something funny Creston said. He might have said something funny as his working title for his new book "Nobody" (which is great by the way). The working title was "bum" I think you'll have to agree with me that the title "Nobody" is a keeper.
Jill stopping by to make sure that Creston has enough books to sign for Christian Fiction Day.

NOBODY BY CRESTON MAPES









ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Creston Mapes is a talented storyteller whose first two novels, Dark Star and Full Tilt, made him a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year awards and the Inspirational Readers Choice awards. Creston has written for major corporations, colleges, and ministries, including Coca-Cola, TNT Sports, Oracle, Focus on the Family, and In Touch Ministries. Committed to his craft and his family, Creston makes his home in Georgia with his wife, Patty, and their four children.

He's been married for twenty-one years to the girl he first loved way back in fourth grade. They have three lovely girls and a boy in a very close-knit family, spending a lot of time together - watching old classic movies, going on outings, and taking in various school and community events and activities. Creston loves to go for morning walks with his dog, read, paint watercolors, meet friends for coffee and Bible study, watch hockey, take his wife on dates, and spend time in God's Word.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Not everything that happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas!

They said, “He’s a nobody.”
They were dead wrong.

When reporter Hudson Ambrose hears an early morning call on his police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop on Las Vegas Boulevard, he rushes to the scene to get the scoop.
His world is blown off its axis when he discovers a murdered homeless man with a bankbook in his pocket showing a balance of almost one million dollars. Should he wait for the police, knowing the case will get lost in reams of red tape, or swipe the bankbook and take the investigation–and perhaps a chunk of the money–into his own hands?

With sirens bearing down on the scene, Hudson makes an impulse decision that whisks him on a frantic search for answers, not only about the mysterious dead man, but about the lost soul lurking within himself.

Uncovering bizarre links between a plane crash, a Las Vegas pit boss, a dirty cop, and a widowed Atlanta business mogul, Hudson is forced to find out: who was Chester Holte, what was he doing on the streets, and why are his homeless friends convinced he was an angel in disguise?




“Nobody was absolutely riveting from the opening scene to the final page. With compelling characters, a plot that surprised me at every turn, and a subtle, yet profound message that moved me to tears, this book goes straight to the top of my highly recommended list.”
- Deborah Raney, author of Remember to Forget and Within This Circle

“A taut, entertaining novel of mystery, intrigue, and spiritual truth. Creston Mapes delivers a winner in Nobody.”
- James Scott Bell, bestselling author of No Legal Grounds and Try Dying

“Nobody had me fascinated from the first paragraph and kept the surprises coming to the very end. Somehow, as the pages flew by, it also managed to convey a beautiful picture of faith the size of a mustard seed. From now on I’ll read anything by Creston Mapes the instant it hits the shelves.”
- Athol Dickson, Christy Award—winning author of River Rising and The Cure

SWAN HOUSE FIELD TRIP 5-23-08

Elisabeth Musser, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, attended The Westminster Schools and then received her B.A. in English and French from Vanderbilt University, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude.
Though passionate about writing since childhood, Elizabeth's first book was not published until 1996. Two Crosses was the first of a trilogy set during both the Algerian War for independence from France (1957-1962) and the present day civil war in Algeria. Her work has since been translated into Dutch, French, and German.
Since 1989, Elizabeth and her husband Paul, have lived in Montpellier, France, where Paul serves on the pastoral team of a small Protestant church. The Mussers have two sons, Andrew and Christopher. Elisabeth wrote The Swan House, The Dwelling Place, and the third book "Searching for Eternity" (out 2007) is the third book in this trilogy.
Orly Airfield, Paris, France picture taken June 3, 1962 when the actual plane crashed that The Swan House talks about. The aircraft crashed on take off from Orly Airport in Paris due to faulty trim servo, motor, which impaired the crew's ability to properly trim the elevator. Basically the plane couldn't get off the ground and crashed.

June 3, 1962 actual crash - this made news all over the world. This was a Boeing 707 bound from Paris to Atlanta, Georgia. "This is where John Jason Middleton waved good-bye to his wife Sheila and then watched the plain as heavy streams of white smoke trailing behind the plane he became concerned."
" The plane screeched to the left, wobbling horribly for what seemed an eternity as the white smoke turned black. John Jason Middleton watched, horrified, screaming out loud as the nose of the plane struck the runway with the force of an earthquake, splitting the pavement apart. There was the sound of an explosion and then the airplane burst into fierce, lapping orange and blue flames." quote from the book. The plane held many of Atlanta's most prominent citizens. The death toll for people that lived in Atlanta was about 130.

Thirteen years before the plane crash that killed so many Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone with the Wind) was fatally injured in a street accident - she was hit by a car walking across the street. The plane crash was another tremendous blow to Atlanta and its people. Many of the people lost belonged to and ran the History Culture Arts center.


Below is the map that shows just how close Oakland Cementary and Grant Park were in relationship to each other. You can't see it here but the Swan House is close by as well.


This is the entrance to Oakland Cementary. It's beautiful. There are many amazing tomb stones inside this graveyard. In May 2008 there was a tornado destroyed many of the tombstones. This has been a tremendous blow to the cementary and downtown Atlanta. History has been destroyed. They are working on restoring the damage to bring back its beauty.
Tombstone of the Unknown Soldiers







Margaret Mitchell's Tombstone

Former Mayer of GA Maynard Jackson



Grant Park is being rebuilt and the homes here are in the millions.



This is where the ladies from the book club and I had lunch. It was a real treat. I've never been to a tea room before. It was a new experience for many of us that day.

The Swan Coach House is a 100 or so yards away from the beautiful Swan House. Here are pictures inside the coach house. They have an art gallery and gift shop inside.

This is the formal dinning room of the Swan House. The dinning room had hand painted wall paper that was called chinoiserie. It was in this room that Emily Inman showed off two swan console tables, which are attributed to Thomas Johnson, a noted London designer and carver of the mid-18th century. It is said that she purchased the set of tables for $700.00. They were very beautiful, ornate and painted gold. Special lights were made to light up the swans under the marble top tables. I wish I could have seen them light up. It must have been amazing. It gave you something to talk about and look at while you were eating that's for sure. The rug that they restored to the original style and colors wasn't so cheap it cost $140,000 - I'd hate to spill someting on that rug.

We were so fortunate to see the fountains working the day of our visit. The week before they had been turned off because of the water restrictions. The back side of the house (which was the entrance - but not used that way) housed the main bedroom of Emily Inman who enjoyed the view of the fountain and the gardens. The view was so refreshing and tranquill I see why she chose that room to be hers. I was quite surprised how modern this house was for it's time. It would be like any other house in Buckhead today. It was ornate but not overly so.
The Swan House was completed in 1928 for Emily and Edward Inman. This was their dream house where they were going to entertain and have a great time. They did so for three years until suddenly Edward Inman took ill and died. After his death Emily asked that her son to move in with her. He did and brought his family. Emily lived in the house until she was 89. The Swan House is on Atlanta's most-recognized landmarks. It was designed by Atlanta architect Philip Trammell Shutze and is named for the swan motif found throughout the interior of the house.

There are four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, in this 13,000 square-foothouse. Emily Inman's bedroom features a mantelpiece from her former home. She had a 19th century English sewing table in her room that is one of the original furnishings recently found and returned to the Swan House. There had been a few fires in their other house so Emily had a couple of fire hoses installed in this house. She was going to put out the fire before it took out most of the house.
The use of floral wallpaper and fabrics was typical of early 20th century decorative tastes. The adjoining bathroom was custom-decorated by Atlanta artist Athos Menaboni with swans on the ceiling, stars over the dressing table, draperies painted on the mirors and painted green faux marble walls.
The inside of this house was very modern. They had electricity and running water. They also had heat. They went thru great lengths for none of that to be seen by the guests. Radiators were cleverly discuised. The floor vents were carefully cut to match the design on the Italian marble floor. It was just clever and very beautiful. Emily was a stickler in keeping her things very nice. Since this house was never meant for grand children she had to come up with some rules to make the house stay beautiful. One of her rules was to ONLY walk on the WHITE TILE in the entrance way and hall ways. If they stepped on the black tile you could see the skuff marks and that wasn't acceptable. There was also a beautiful stair case up to the family bedrooms. The children weren't allowed to use it. They had to go up the serve entrance were the maids went up. Emily didn't want them riding down or running up and down the stairs. The stairs were meant for herself and guests only.
The Atlanta History Center purchased the house and it's 22 acres of surrounding woodlands from the Inman family in 1966. In recognition of Swan House's significance, the Atlanta History Center logo is drawn from the floor pattern in the entry hall of the Swan House. In 1998, work on the mansion's exterior marked the beginning of a five-year, $5.45 million restoration project. Guided by historical research and expert paint analysis, workers stripped away layers of paint and repainted the exterior of the house to conform to its original appearance. Exerior doors, which had been painted black, were returned to their original deep blue color. The famous cascading fountains, their adjacant retaining walls and the cloverleaf fountains on the lower lawn have been restored.

This is Ashley and I infront of the History Museum. In the back of Ashley is the exact design of the entrance way to the Swan House. Now imagine only walking on the white tile. They had a display on slavery and all the turmoil of the 1960's. It was very fascinating and sad. This was in honor of Martin Luther's Birthday celebrations.


This is Barbara and Peggy at the Swan Coach House were we enjoyed a chicken salad lunch, frozen fruit salad that everyone raved about and chocolate swan dessert.
Ashley and Carol are enjoying their time before we actually ate.
This is Marie and Jackie who totally LOVED all the beautiful flowers we found and actually knew all their names. We were impressed.
Here we are - early and waiting for stuff to begin. Ashley is missing because she is taking the picture.
Now Ashley is in the picture and Carol is missing because she is taking the picture.
This is TULLIE SMITH FARM BARNYARD. There were several animals walking round.





These were the slaves quarters. They even had a small attic.