You know I can’t stay out of Bliss House for long, right? Even as I work on the 2016 Bliss House novel–THE ABANDONED HEART–and get ready for the release of CHARLOTTE’S STORY in October, I’m dreaming up more stories. So I took some time this summer to write you a short story. A really long, delicious short story called Cold Alone.
If you’ve read BLISS HOUSE, you know how it changes hands, out of the family. It’s sold first to a doctor, and then to Peter and Mim Brodsky, who turn it into the Bliss House Inn. Rainey Bliss Adams later buys it, which is part of the plot of BLISS HOUSE, but only because, well, things don’t go so well for the Brodskys.
Cold Alone is set in 2008, before the Brodskys have their, um, tragedy. The Brodskys have hire a young woman named Nicole Martin to help out with cleaning and such. And while Nicole seems like a nice enough young woman, she has a few secrets (as people do)–but nothing too shocking. Okay. Maybe a little shocking. Because Mim Brodsky’s mother is ailing in a nursing home a few hours away, Peter and Mim ask Nicole to stay at the inn overnight while they’re gone. Nicole agrees. She doesn’t think much of Bliss House’s reputation as a haunted house, so she’s not worried. She sees it as a fun opportunity to have her bestie, Brittany, over to drink some wine, watch tv, and relax in one of the inn’s more attractive bedrooms. Sounds simple enough.
But this is Bliss House. And Bliss House likes to mess with people’s heads. Brittany is not the one who shows up. In fact, there’s a snowstorm, and she can’t reach Brittany at all.
Bliss House knows what Nicole really wants.
Bliss House knows Nicole’s secrets.
Bliss House knows Nicole is alone.
I love this house. I love how wicked it can be. I love its sense of humor. It’s a good thing it’s not a real place, because I would probably move my family right into it–and things would go very badly.
Short stories are supposed to be short, I know. But when it comes to this house, I’m all in. Cold Alone is about 40 pages long. But it’s an ebook, and the lovely folks at Pegasus Crime have allowed me to put nice long samples of both BLISS HOUSE and CHARLOTTE’S STORY in it. I love that, too!