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About the author:
William currently lives in Brooklin, Ontario and, when not writing or researching his ancestry, works as an executive for an international manufacturing firm headquartered in Toronto, Canada.
What inspired you to write your book?
Almost 2 decades of family research which revealed a previously unknown lineage of significant historical figures from politics, the arts, government, Revolutionary War hero’s, business leaders and society figures prompted me to write a fantasy novel incorporating many facts with fun fiction. The result was a mixture of personal experience, ancestral lineage and a love for the paranormal and mysteries culminating in Bloodlines: Cove Point Manor. The introduction of two “interesting” real life characters and their ultimate downfall (fictional) became a joy to write.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Chapter 6: The Groundskeeper’s Cottage
“Good morning.” Alex smiled at Maggie as she stepped out of her truck. “I wasn’t expecting you until this afternoon.”
Alex had gone downstairs when he saw Maggie coming up the driveway.
“I hope you don’t mind” she answered, “but my morning freed up so I thought I would stop by, see how you were doing and bring you some breakfast.” Maggie smiled as she held up the coffees and bagels.
“That’s very thoughtful of you. Care to join me out on the patio? The view is amazing, but I’m sure you already know that.”
Alex and Maggie walked out to the patio. It was unusually warm for a late September morning, but it was perfect weather to be outside.
“How long have you been in the property management business?” Alex asked.
“Pretty much all of my life.” Maggie replied. “It was a family business, and I used to help my grandfather and father from as far back as I can remember. My great-grandfather actually used to be the head groundskeeper here at Cove Point.”
“Really?” Alex said surprised. “So he was here when my great-grandparents were living here?”
“Yes, he was one of the first employees Mr. Farnsworth hired. My grandfather used to say it was because Mr. Farnsworth was Scotch, and so was my great-grandfather, but my dad said that it was because he was the best.”
“How long did he work here?” Alex asked.
“He was here from 1905 until he passed away in 1948.” Maggie answered. “He lived in the cottage down by the woods.”
Alex took a sip of his coffee while listening to Maggie.
“What was this place like back in the day?” Alex asked, wanting to know more about his home.
Alex thought he saw a bit of a sparkle appear in her eyes before she began to tell the story of her grandfather’s life at Cove Point.
“My grandfather was born in 1905.” Maggie began; “He was born just before Cove Point Manor was finished, and the cottage was the only home he knew. By the time that my grandfather was 10, Cove Point had become the place to see and be seen on the Gold Coast during the summer season.”
Maggie paused for a moment, smiled and then said; “My grandfather loved Cove Point Manor. With the exception of his time in the army during WWII, he lived his whole life on Long Island. After the War he had no real need to go anywhere else. When his father died in 1948, he offered to stay on as a caretaker of the estate.”
Alex smiled. He liked the fact that Maggie’s family had been here from day one, looking after this house.
“Mr. Farnsworth – you’re great-great grandfather, died in 1934.” Maggie said. “He made a provision in his will that part of his estate continue to pay for the maintenance of this house. My grandfather told me that his parents were quite happy about that, as my great-grandfather was able to keep his job and the family could continue living in the cottage.”
“I’m surprised he cared about this place after what happened to his wife here, back in 1921.” Alex said.
Maggie thought about that for a moment.
“My grandfather used to tell me that both of your great-grandparents loved this place a great deal.” She replied. “Cove Point Manor was the culmination of their lives’ work; a legacy that they wanted to pass on to future generations.”
“Did your grandfather also live in the cottage here after his father passed away?” Alex asked.
“No.” Maggie responded; “He took over as groundskeeper of Cove Point, but the salary by that time was too low to support his family on its own. My grandmother also found living on an abandoned estate too spooky for her liking, so they had a house in town. My grandmother wanted to be close to friends, the grocery stores and civilization.”
Alex could understand why Maggie’s grandmother wanted to be closer to other people. For him though, the isolation was peaceful.
“In order to support his family, my grandfather started his own business.” Maggie said. “He continued working here at Cove Point, making sure the yard and house was looked after and letting the lawyers know when more extensive repairs were required. The rest of his time he worked at the other large estates around the area. By the time he retired, he had a crew of 9 men working for him and was in high demand in the area.”
“From what I’ve seen so far, your family has done a good job with this place.” Alex said.
“Thank you.” Maggie said, quite proud of her family business. “When I was growing up, my grandfather was still somewhat active in the business and he would take me with him on weekends. By the time my dad took over the business, I was starting high school and would help out with office work part-time. In the summer I would work with my dad and learned all about looking after these old mansions.”
“That’s impressive.” Alex said. “I always admire someone who not only owns a business, but understands all aspects of it.”
“After I graduated from college…” Maggie continued; “I started working at the company full time. I took over the business from my dad a little over 10 years ago and he and mom retired down south.”
Maggie finished her coffee as she finished her story.
“That’s enough about me.” She said. “How about I show you the rest of your new home?”.
“That would be great!” Alex answered. “I really want to check this place out.”
Brenda and Connie had been on the bus for almost 14 hours, and they still had a few hours left to go. There were faster ways to get to New York City -even faster buses; but this was the cheapest bus ticket Brenda could find. It was a milk run, stopping at every little town between Toronto and New York.
Brenda hated traveling by bus. At 60 Brenda she thought she would be living a different life, a life punctuated by leisure and luxury. Her daughter didn’t seem to mind though, she was sound asleep and snoring up a storm.
“Just like her no good father.” Brenda snarled, looking at her daughter with contempt.
Brenda had high hopes for Connie, but those hopes quickly faded. Connie reminded Brenda of Ted, and Ted reminded Brenda of her mistakes. It was a vicious circle. Still, Connie had stuck by Brenda, unlike most other people in her life.
“Connie!” Brenda said, poking her daughter hard to wake her up. “You’re snoring again!”
Connie grumbled, then shifted in her seat, putting her head onto Brenda’s shoulder. Brenda sighed, and then moved Connie’s head until it tilted to the other side. The snoring started again.
Brenda pulled out the letter from the lawyer that Connie took from Alex’s house and read it again;
Dear Mr. Tinsdill;
Please find enclosed a copy of the minutes of our meeting at my office. I am pleased to tell you that all of the necessary paperwork has been completed and the title transfer of Cove Point Manor into your name will be complete by the time you arrive on September 23rd.
I trust that you will find the house in good working order and I will make arrangements for Miss Maggie Crosby to show you the property.
Congratulations once again and if my firm or I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact us.
Ms. Julia Wentworth, Senior Partner
Dunham, Taylor & Wentworth LLC
Brenda folded the letter and put it back into her purse. A slight smile formed on Brenda’s thin lips. She was going to meet this Ms. Julia Wentworth and find out where Alex was.
Brenda was good at manipulating people; she had been manipulating people for most of her life. She had never had the challenge of trying her act on a big city lawyer like Julia Wentworth before, but she was confident she could do it.
Connie let out an exceptionally loud snore, one that caused a few dirty looks to be sent her way. Brenda gave her daughter another sharp poke. Connie stopped snoring for a minute, then started up again.
“I need to try and get some sleep if this is going to work.” Brenda said under her breath.