"Laura Benedict paints a vibrant picture of lives haunted by the past—where sins of the spirit meet sins of the flesh and no character is left unscathed"
— Jonathan Santlofer, bestselling author of The Murder Notebook
Another spring has at last arrived. Are you excited about it, too? For me, it was a very long but pleasant winter spent writing, and homeschooling my teenage son. We finished Introductory Logic a whole month early and we have moved on from Chaucer to Milton's Paradise Lost. (Though I confess I'm anxious to teach Pride and Prejudice next month.) I never imagined I'd spend my days mostly writing and learning, but it is a very happy turn of events.
My big news is that we have a fabulous new cover for my latest gothic tale, The Abandoned Heart! I love how it shares the colors of the trilogy's first book, Bliss House. While the cover of Bliss House showed just the exterior of the house, and Charlotte's Story had a woman watching from a window, The Abandoned Heart takes you right inside the front hall with one of the characters.
You don't need to have read the first two books of the trilogy to enjoy The Abandoned Heart. It's about three very different women caught in the dangerous orbit of Randolph Bliss, who, against all advice, builds his masterpiece of a house on land that's tainted with tragedy. The curse echoes down the generations of Bliss House and Charlotte's Story, and even touches a stranger in Cold Alone.
Did I mention that The Abandoned Heart is already available for pre-order? It would make me wildly happy if you could put in your order soon—that tells the publisher and booksellers that readers are anticipating it. Plus, did I mention it would make me crazy-happy? You can order from your favorite independent bookstore, or Amazon. (We'll add more booksellers soon.)
Around My House
We are all anxious for the out-of-doors here at the house, but spring has not come quietly. The wind is a constant voice outside our windows—along with the newly-active coyotes, and a very raucous owl, in the nighttime. As you can see, our girls are very busy, too. Sylvie (dark brown) and Miss Nina Garcia (black and white) love to race the dogs to the door to be let out but, alas, they are forever indoor cats. They both came to us (at different times) from the ditch along our country road when they were teeny-tiny things, but we love them too much to let them go out roaming. (See "coyotes" above!) You might remember that Sylvie came to us a little over a year ago. Now she's a very independent teenager, with a fondness for launching herself into places she's not supposed to go. But we do our best to keep them both from launching themselves out the door. Still, they dream.
Out and About
I'll be sticking close to home for much of the spring and summer, working on my next book, and some short stories as well. But I do have a couple of gigs I'm really looking forward to—a girl can't stay home writing all the time.
If you're in the Kentucky/Tennessee/Indiana tri-state area, visit me at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest on April 23, 2016. I'll also be part of the Kentucky Writers Conference on the 22nd, also in Bowling Green, so if you're a writer, please do sign up.
Speaking of writing...The Tinker Mountain Writers' Workshop happens June 12-17, 2016. The workshop has classes in fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. I'll be teaching the genre fiction workshop, and we have a great time learning and writing together.
Drop by and enter my March contest: Winner receives a signed copy of Ariel Lawhon's elegant historical mystery, The Wife, The Maid and The Mistress. And of course I'll send you a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card as an extra treat.
Sending you happy wishes for a wonderful month ahead. Read lots and love much!
A thought going forward: "Replace fear with gratitude, and your whole world changes." —Terri Guillemets
The cardigan sweater as we know it today is a relatively modern thing. In the 1920s, Coco Chanel's short, light jackets for women that could be worn open or closed became the forerunners of the soft, button front cardigan sweaters that are, even now, a women's sportswear staple. The cardigan's deeper origins have a more warlike history. James Thomas Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan, was a famous figure from the Crimean War (1853-56). In fact, he was the commander who led the disastrous action in Tennyson's poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. The war took place in some chilly locales and Brudenell and his men wore knitted, worsted wool jackets (often trimmed with fur) to stay warm. Although those particular jackets were not called cardigans, the open-front style of wool sweaters came to be referred to as "cardigans" not long after Cardigan died in 1867.