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A young girl is tormented by her new house’s terrible past

Martha wants to be happy for her father. She likes his new wife—even if she’s a terrible cook—but she doesn’t understand why they had to leave Chicago and move to this horrible house in the country. It’s big, broken-down, and miles from anywhere, alone in the woods with nothing on the property but an overgrown cemetery. But at night it doesn’t feel empty.

Conor—her new, weird stepbrother—chose Martha’s new room for her. It’s dark and drafty, and no matter how she tries to fix it up, she can’t sleep easily there. At night, whispers come from the closet, filling Martha with a sense that something terrible happened here. She’s right. Not long ago, the house was the site of a gruesome murder. When Conor and Martha’s parents leave town on their honeymoon, the two teens will find out why the dead don’t rest easy at the old Bedford house.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Richie Tankersley Cusick including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

ABOUT Richie Tankersley Cusick

  • BIOGRAPHY

    Born on April Fool’s Day 1952, Richie Tankersley Cusick was destined at a young age to write scary books. In a career spanning three decades, she has paved the way for young-adult horror writing, a genre she continues to publish in today.

    Although born in New Orleans—home to some of the country’s most ancient ghosts—Cusick spent her early years in a small bayou town called Barataria, which once provided a safe haven for the fearsome pirate Jean Lafitte. A true Southern writer, she took early inspiration from the landscape of crumbling mansions, Spanish moss, and aboveground cemeteries, and began writing stories at a young age. For years a ghost lurked in her family’s house, making particular trouble around the holidays, when he would strip the Christmas tree of its ornaments and hurl them to the floor.

    After graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Cusick took a job at Hallmark and moved to Kansas City, where she once again shared her home with a mischievous spirit. It was then that she started work on her first novel, Evil on the Bayou (1984), based on her childhood memories of life in the eerie Louisiana swamps. Its success allowed her to leave Hallmark and begin writing fulltime.

    When Cusick’s novel-writing career began, horror fiction for teens was a new genre. Along with authors like Christopher Pike and R. L. Stine, Cusick pioneered the form, finding success writing chilling stories with only a dash of the gore that defines adult thrillers.

    Since Evil on the Bayou, Cusick has written more than two dozen novels about everything from vampires to pirate ghosts. In 2003 she began The Unseen, a four-volume series about a young girl who is tormented by the occult. Cusick currently lives with her three dogs in Missouri, where she enjoys listening to classic horror-movie soundtracks as she writes on an antique roll-top desk once owned by a funeral director. The desk is, of course, haunted.

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