Freezing on the Beach!

I decided to take Sherry to the beach for a week in March. She needed a break from responsibilities and stresses at home. We had no idea it would barely get out of the 40’s our first day here! Gulf Shores, Alabama is a place near and dear to our hearts. We have vacationed in this area many, many times before. Lately, we’ve been staying just a few miles down the beach just over the state line in Perdido Key, Florida.

Just to show you how cold it is, take a look at these pictures from our balcony. The beach is deserted!!!




But, what I wanted to share was a story of a beach house. I first saw this beach house in 1999. It was August and we were staying in Orange Beach, Alabama (part of the Gulf Shores area) and I walked down the beach and saw this house. The week before we left to come to the beach, I had begun the rough draft of a novel that would become “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye”. I was 16 chapters into the book when we arrived at the beach. After an evening walk down the beach with my wife, I saw this house. It was huge. And for some reason in the fading, gray evening, it creeped me out. So, naturally, I put it into my story. If you have read the first book, you know that this is the beach house where Jonathan Steel completed his physical recovery after waking up on the beach tortured to within an inch of his life. It was this house owned by the love of his life, April Pierce that would haunt him and in the books, haunts him still.



You see, there is a secret hidden in this house. It is a secret those of you who have read my first two books know nothing about. That secret will eventually be revealed in later books. I hope to continue to write the Chronicles of Jonathan Steel and at this moment I am currently looking for a new publisher.


In 2004, Hurricane Ivan took out this house along with much of Orange Beach. It no longer exists. Today, I walked down that cold, empty beach and I missed the house that inspired the story of Jonathan Steel. It now only remains in my imagination along with a picture or two. And, of course, the real owners miss it also!


About Bruce Hennigan

Published novelist, dramatist, apologist, and physician.

Posted on March 3, 2013, in Breaking News, My Writing, Speculative Fiction, Steel Chronicles and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hello, Mr. Hennigan! I ran across this wonderful article today and am happy to let you know that this beach house in your novel is still standing today. It was badly damaged by Hurricane Ivan but was restored and today functions as a vacation rental and wedding venue. Thank you so much for sharing the photos of this lovely home as you remember it. This link on our company’s vacation rental website will let you see how the home looks today:

    I will soon be reading the Chronicles of Jonathan Steele and cannot wait to see what the house’s hidden secret is!

    Holly Bryant
    Property Manager
    Coastal Resort Realty


    • Wow! Thanks for letting me know. We stayed next to that house in our condo several summers in a row and we walked by that house so many times and it inspired me. Glad to know it’s still standing proud and beautiful.


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