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Inspiration for Shadows of the Moss

I was a docent at Rose Hill Mansion in Bluffton, SC for two and a half years. The 1858 Gothic Revival mansion was nothing shy of spectacular. I loved everything about the sprawling three story house with its magnificent architecture and extensive history. Like most southern historic homes, this one had several ghosts residing within its walls, the most popular being the elegant lady. She was often spotted hovering on the winding staircase by tour guests.

Her story was both tragic and vague. Supposedly, this young woman was traveling from Pennsylvania to South Carolina to visit family. Falling ill during the journey, she was brought to Rose Hill because Dr. Kirk resided there. Sadly, the doctor was out of town. The family took her in, put her in one of the bedrooms, and cared for her until her death a few days later. No one knew who she was or how to contact her relatives. She was given a proper burial somewhere on the property.

The story of this ghost with her mysterious background intrigued me. Originally, the elegant lady’s story was going to be the theme for book 3 in the Haunting series until I heard the rumor that Rose Hill may have been a safe house for Union soldiers during the civil war. When I heard ‘safe house’, my mind automatically thought of the Underground Railroad. At that moment, the story shifted and Shadows was born.

The ghostly tale of the elegant lady was the foundation for Maggie McFarland’s trek from her beloved Ireland to Pennsylvannia and on to Rose Hill in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Her perilous journey introduced her to the Underground Railroad where her life was forever changed.

Many of the characters in the book are based upon people who have impacted my life. Of course, Rose Hill Mansion plays a major role in the story.

Copies of Shadows of the Moss, first in the Shadows trilogy, can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or can be ordered through you favorite Indie bookstore or library. For signed copies go to (click the button below:). The Kindle version is currently on sale for .99 cents through Friday.

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