Thursday, October 15, 2015

Charlotte's Story by Laura Benedict + a Giveaway

Guys, by the time October rolls around I want to read pretty much nothing but horror. I know, I probably sound like a broken record. In truth, I want to read it all the time but in October it becomes kind impossible to tamp down. And nothing pleases me more than a great haunted house story. So Laura Benedict's latest Bliss House book hits two perfect marks for me right away - October release (yay!) and it's a guaranteed uber creepy haunted house story.

Charlotte Bliss has everything: a loving husband, two perfect children, and a generations-old house filled with light and space. But everything comes crashing down around Charlotte on the day her daughter dies. 

Charlotte had been alone in the house with the children, sleeping off an afternoon of champagne, when Eva drowned in the bathtub. She knows it was her fault. She knows if she hadn't indulged that afternoon Eva would still be alive. Her husband, Press, says he doesn't blame her but in the days and weeks following Eva's death he begins to change. And as Press changes, Bliss House does as well. 

It begins with Charlotte's glimpse of Olivia on the day of Eva's funeral. Impossible as it seems, her mother-in-law has reached out to her from beyond the grave and now Charlotte believes Eva could be waiting in Bliss House as well. But her dreams of seeing her daughter again soon turn to nightmares as Bliss House begins to reveal its darker secrets. 

Charlotte's Story begins almost innocently. Benedict tricks you into entertaining the idea that Charlotte might just be so distraught over the loss of her daughter that she's slowly spiraling into madness. Almost. If you haven't read any of the Bliss House books you're probably more likely to start out believing this than I was - I have read both Bliss House and Cold Alone, so I know this is one house that's up to no good. But again, things do begin innocently enough.

Poor Charlotte. Her life was pretty idyllic, at least until her mother-in-law passed away. I believe it's not the death of Eva but the death of Olivia that sets things in motion in spite of the fact that Charlotte herself doesn't notice anything truly odd until Eva's funeral. It's like a switch is flipped at that moment, though. Press becomes less loving and more out of tune with Charlotte (Understatement. Of. The. Year.) and the house's ghosts begin to reveal themselves.

Bliss House is the stuff of nightmares. Literally. If you've read the previous installments you know that the house tends to show people exactly what they're most afraid of - the things that will set them right over the edge into crazy land! It would almost have to considering how much pain and suffering it's witnessed and absorbed throughout the years. Like I said, that house is up to no good.

If you're looking for something scary that will sneak up on you, I highly recommend this series. You do not have to read them in any particular order - the order of release is moving in a backwards chronology with Bliss House set present day, Cold Alone set in the 80s, and Charlotte's Story set in 1957. Meeting the various personalities of Bliss House in this manner is, for me, pretty spectacular but that's just my opinion. You can approach the series in any order you like.

Rating: 5/5

Thanks to Laura I'm able to offer up a signed copy of the first Bliss House title - appropriately titled Bliss House - for a giveaway today. To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, October 26. Open US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo credit: Emily Ellsworth


traveler said...

Thanks for this captivating and enthralling novel. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Jennifer said...

This sounds really good. I love the idea of the house as a character.

bn100 said...

different sounding

Carol M said...

I love haunted house stories and this sounds like a good one