Popular historical romance author Sara Harris (also known as Sara Barnard) is pleased to unveil her first foray into the realm of the supernatural with her new novel, House of Madness, which released to retail today, Wednesday, January 30, 2019, from WordCrafts Press.
House of Madness explores the twin themes of love and loss, set against strained family relationships.
Tim and Adelaide Smithfield are haunted by memories of loss too raw to forget and too painful to remember. Their 11-year-old daughter, Michaela, has her own set of sensory processing challenges, not to mention an overwhelming sense of guilt that she might be at the root of her parents’ problems.
The sprawling ranch house on the outskirts of the quaint West Texas town of Big Spring promises a fresh start for this young family on the verge of collapse. But the house is haunted by memories of its own… and a guilt that West Texas’ famed thunderstorms can’t wash away.
And then there is that girl in the mirror…
“We were a military family living in Italy when the seed of the story was planted,” novelist Sara Harris recalls. “I discovered my daughter, who was four years old at the time, talking to the mirror in her closet. When I asked who she was talking to, she answered, ‘The little girl who lives in the closet.’ I assumed she was talking about her reflection, so I waved to the mirror and said, ‘Hello little girl who lives in the closet.’ My daughter rolled her eyes and corrected me immediately. ‘I’m not talking to myself, mom,’ she declared. ‘The girl I’m talking to is dead. And she speaks French.'”
The story took shape after Sara and her family moved to Big Spring, Texas, not too far from the Big Spring State Hospital, a psychiatric facility established by the Texas state legislature in 1939. “The house in the book was based on the house where we lived in Big Spring,” Sara confides. “All the odd features I describe in the novel were features in that house.”
Sara notes that while she wanted the novel to have plenty of thrills and scares, there is also a powerful message hiding behind the story. “House of Madness is about a family overcoming insurmountable odds,” she explains. “It’s about resilience, and learning to get past things that have haunted your past with the help of those who love you. And it is about recognizing that everyone, no matter what label the world might try to slap on them, has a unique point of view that can help add to the bigger picture.”
About The Author:
Sara Harris and her family have made their home in places all over the world, from the majestic Oklahoma plains to the eclectic mountains of Italy—collecting inspiration and rescue animals along the way.
Sara is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Critique Chair of RWA’s Hearts Through History group, Western Fictioneers, West Houston Romance Writers, The Catholic Writer’s Guild, and The Transylvanian Society of Dracula.
Sara, her romance novel-esque husband, and their children make their home in Katy, Texas. She has her BA in Medieval European History and is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.
Find out more at SaraHarrisBooks.com