Experiencing History and Hospitality at a B & B
by Linda Goodnight, author of The Rain Sparrow
Bed-and-breakfast inns are my favorite places to stay when traveling. Since my series, the Honey Ridge Novels, is set in an antebellum mansion turned bed-and-breakfast, what better way to research than to stay in a gorgeous Civil War–era home?
With my daughters, I drove to Tennessee for a few days of research and then on into northern Alabama to Winston Place Bed and Breakfast. This stately mansion sits along a railroad track in a lush valley west of Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga. If you’re a history buff like me, you can’t find a better area to explore. On first seeing Winston Place, I halfway expected Scarlett O’Hara to greet me at the door!
The innkeepers went out of their way to make us feel welcome. When Jim, the owner, learned I was researching a novel, he gave me complete run of the house. We’d arrived before the other guests so Jim opened up every room and patiently answered my crazy writer questions. Much of the house is original, including gorgeous fireplaces, wood floors, two staircases and the double galleries. Some of the bedrooms opened onto the upper wraparound porch, so I had my morning coffee there looking out over the green, misty valley with the Smoky Mountains in the distance. Heavenly!
Winston Place became a model for Peach Orchard Inn in the Honey Ridge Novels and my just released novel, The Rain Sparrow. It is a wonderful inn full of antiques, history and hospitality, and I would return in a heartbeat!
Have you ever visited a bed-and-breakfast? If so, please share. I might want to visit! If not, would you like to stay in one?
About The Rain Sparrow:
Renowned yet private, thriller writer Hayden Winters lives a life colored by lies. As he is deeply ashamed of his past, his hunger for an honest relationship and dreams of starting a family remain unsatisfied, and he can trust no one with his secrets. He’s determined to outrun his personal demons, but the charming old Peach Orchard Inn and a woman whose presence is as gentle as a sparrow’s song stops him in his tracks.
Carrie Riley is afraid of everything from flying to thunderstorms, and pretty much of life itself. But meeting the enigmatic writer staying at the inn emboldens her to learn everything about him. When they discover a vulnerable boy hiding at the inn, Hayden is compelled to help Carrie protect him. Soon they’re led to a centuries-old mystery that haunts Hayden’s sleep, and his only safe haven is Carrie. As the secrets of the past and present cause their lives to become entwined, all that’s left to come to light is love—if the grim truth doesn’t tear them apart first.