Laura Benedict is the author of Charlotte's Story and Bliss House, the first two novels in the Bliss House trilogy, as well as several other novels of dark suspense. Her work has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and numerous anthologies. She lives with her family in Southern Illinois. Visit laurabenedict.com.
But nothing is simple if Bliss House is involved. How far will Charlotte go to discover the truth? And how far will she get without knowing who her real enemy is? Though Bliss House may promise to give its inhabitants what they want, it never gives them exactly what they expect.
There is no bliss to be found in Bliss House.
In Old Gate, Virginia, stands a grand house built by Randolph Bliss, a charming New York carpetbagger who, in 1878, shook off dire warnings to build his home elsewhere. For the ground beneath Bliss House is tainted with the kind of tragedy that curses generations, seeping through the foundation and sowing madness in its wake. His first and second wives, and his young Japanese mistress, Kiku, bear witness to Randolph’s growing insanity with stories of his cruel manipulations and their desperate struggles to find happiness for themselves and their children.
Their desire to live and love and even take revenge also fills the house, triumphing even over death. Spanning half a century, The Abandoned Heart is the prequel to Charlotte’s Story and Bliss House, forming a trilogy of southern Gothic novels in which one haunted house begets haunted lives that echo over centuries. A haunting so powerful that even Bliss House’s destruction cannot kill it.