Today BLISS HOUSE is officially one year old, and is now available in paperback!
I dreamed a long time about writing this book–specifically ever since I read my first grown-up haunted house novel, THE SENTINEL, by Jeffrey Konvitz. Of course, I’d read JANE EYRE long before that, and the two together early solidified my love of the gothic.
BLISS HOUSE is the first installment in a series of three novels about the 100-something year-old Virginia house. While most book series star human characters, Bliss House is the star of these novels. Without the house, there might have been a Bliss family, but they probably wouldn’t have had such strange and perilous lives. And Bliss House outlives them all–well, most of them, anyway. (I don’t want to give away any secrets.)
The three Bliss House books in the series (there’s a short story coming late this summer, too) move backward in time. BLISS HOUSE is the contemporary story of Rainey Bliss Adams of St. Louis, whose mother was a Bliss. When Rainey’s husband is killed in a horrifying accident that also badly scars and disfigures her daughter, Ariel, she buys Bliss House, hoping that it will help both of them heal. But regardless of any healing Ariel might experience there (and a bizarre sort of healing it is), what they mostly encounter in Bliss House is death, beginning with the death of their real estate agent the night Bliss House is re-introduced to the town of Old Gate. You can read more about BLISS HOUSE–and even an excerpt–right here.
Come October, CHARLOTTE’S STORY, the second Bliss House book will be available in stores. It’s 1957, and Charlotte Carter is married to Hasbrouck Preston Bliss, the scion of Bliss House. Bliss House has only been theirs since Press’s mother, Olivia, died a few months earlier. But tragedy comes early in their tenure: their young daughter, Eva, dies–and Charlotte is responsible. But death is not a simple matter at Bliss House, and only the dead have all the answers. As I wrote CHARLOTTE’S STORY, I found myself most heavily influenced by Daphne du Maurier’s classic gothic novel, REBECCA. I hope you’ll find it has that same aura of innocence lost, a feeling of a dark, overwhelming presence that toys with human lives–and of course the power of love.
You’ll have to wait until 2016 for THE ABANDONED HEART, the story of Bliss House’s origins. A hint: there are three women deeply involved in the dark origins of Bliss House–and one very bad man.
P.S. Don’t forget to enter my special June contest to celebrate BLISS HOUSE’S paperback release. I think you’ll love it!