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Laura Benedict is the author of Devil's Oven, as well as the dark suspense novels Isabella Moon and Calling Dr Lonely Hearts. Her work has appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, PANK, and numerous anthologies. She originated and edited the Surreal South anthology of short fiction series with her husband, Pinckney Benedict, and recently edited Feeding Kate, a charity anthology.
The past never stays buried at Bliss House...Rainey Bliss Adams' perfect life came to an end one spring afternoon, when her husband was killed in an explosion that horrifically burned their fourteen year-old daughter, Ariel. Desperate for a new start, she takes Ariel to live in the beautiful house in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where the Bliss family has lived for over a century. Once there, Ariel starts to mysteriously heal. But as a series of tragedies begins to unfold, it becomes clear that a darkness lurks behind the dignified facade of Bliss House - one which will drive both mother and daughter apart, as each is forced to confront its evil on her own...Richly Gothic, creeping and dark, Bliss House is a haunting tale of loss, love - and the secrets our houses can keep.
'Absorbing, addictive and downright chilling' Alison Gaylin. Fans of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR will love this gripping thriller. There's a stranger in your house. And he knows your biggest secret. When Kimber Hannon returns home from a work trip, she's ready to kick back and relax on the sofa. But on reaching the front door, she is shocked to discover that her key no longer works and there's a man in the bedroom window. Kimber calls the police, but the intruder tells them he's renting the house. Her neighbour corroborates his story and it is Kimber who is forced to leave. But before she does, the stranger whispers 'I was there. I saw what you did.' These words reveal a connection to Kimber's distant past, and dark secrets she'd long ago left buried. Her trespasser isn't after anything as simple as her money or her home. He wants to move into her carefully orchestrated life - and destroy it. ************** Praise for The Stranger Inside 'Laura Benedict turns her unique voice in suspense to this elegant scary mystery, where nothing is as it seems and one woman's truth is shattered by the hidden secrets of her past.' J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of Lie to Me 'Compelling characters, lush settings, complex emotions-all in a clever plot and spiced with a hint of darkness . . . But a warning: once you pick it up, you will yield your life to the power of a great storyteller' Carolyn Haines, bestselling author of The House of Memory
Growing up, Roxanne, Del, and Alice tested the limits of their friendship with cruel, and often dangerous, gamesbut they always knew they would be bound together forever. Now, Alices marriage is over, and her husband is having a child with another woman. Roxanne, an artist consumed by her work, is losing touch with her friendsand perhaps with reality. And Del is desperate to be a perfect wife and adoring stepmother, but her friends see that her careful facade is crumbling.The instrument of their destruction is a single enigmatic manVarick. He seems to be a lonely womans dream come true, but where has he come from? And what does he want? As he seduces the women in turn, their lives become unrecognizable to them. Varicks secret lies buried in their shared past. One simple, childish act has brought them, all these years later, to a place where not only their lives but also their souls are at risk. For once upon a time, the three of them agreed to tell a lieone that ruined the life of a young priest. Defrocked, destitute, and ruined, he hoped with the whole of his shattered heart that he would get revenge. And in that hope he shook hands with the one who promised it. The devil himself. Now they all must live with the consequences.Dark and provocative, Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts will keep listeners in its terrifying grip long after the chilling conclusion.
Two years ago, in idyllic Carystown, Kentucky, nine-year-old Isabella Moon disappeared on her way home from school. Is it just coincidence that Kate Russell, a young woman with no discernible past, arrived in town just months before Isabellas disappearance? When Kate walks into Sheriff Bill Delaneys office to tell him that Isabellas ghost has led her to the childs hidden grave, he immediately views her as a suspect. Mystery follows mystery as a local athlete drops dead, inexplicably, on the basketball court, and someone close to Kate is viciously murdered. Quiet Carystown was to be Kates salvation, and shes settled into a comfortable job, a charming cottage, and a blissful romance. But having lied to her boyfriend, Caleb, for so long about the terrors of her past life, she finds she cant trust him to understand the terror that Isabella Moon has now brought. And Kates best friend, Francie, is too wrapped up in her own troubles - particularly a secret affair with a man she at once loves and despises - to give Kate the help she needs. Utterly alone, Kate is torn between finding justice for the dead child and keeping away old ghosts of her own. The unsolved disappearance of Isabella Moon has been the biggest disappointment of Sheriff Delaneys career. But he senses that Kate is trouble. As he investigates her impossible claims, he also uncovers a series of unsettling truths about Carystown itself. Behind his hometowns genteel faade is a morass of lies and murder, drugs and destruction. And Carystowns residents are about to discover that even though the past is buried, it can rise again - with a vengeance. Dark and suspenseful, tense and eerie, tinged with the supernatural, Isabella Moon is an engrossing, beautifully written debut novel, a breathtaking and artful story of the dark mysteries that can lurk in the most bucolic of places - and the ghost of a little girl who watches as evil rises unstoppably to the surface.