As a baby, Kathy Hepinstall was once thrown out with the bath water. This experience shaped her life and art. She grew up in Texas but eventually escaped after earning a MASTER’S DEGREE at the UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON. Later, she worked for DMB&B, LARSEN COLBY AND STEIN ROBAIRE HELM (all Los Angeles agencies), then freelanced for a number of years, during which she wrote her first two novels, THE HOUSE OF GENTLE MEN (2000) AND THE ABSENCE OF NECTAR (2001).
Amid the mayhem of the Civil War, Virginia plantation wife Iris Dunleavy is put on trial and convicted of madness. It is the only reasonable explanation the court can see for her willful behavior, so she is sent away to Sanibel Asylum to be restored to a good, compliant woman. Iris knows, though, that her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing with him on notions of justice, cruelty, and property. On this remote Florida island, cut off by swamps and seas and military blockades, Iris meets a wonderful collection of residents--- some seemingly sane, some wrongly convinced they are crazy, some charmingly odd, some dangerously unstable. Which of these is Ambrose Weller, the war-haunted Confederate soldier whose memories terrorize him into wild fits that can only be calmed by the color blue, but whose gentleness and dark eyes beckon to Iris. The institution calls itself modern, but Iris is skeptical of its methods, particularly the dreaded "water treatment." She must escape, but she has found new hope and love with Ambrose. Can she take him with her? If they make it out, will the war have left anything for them to make a life from, back home? Blue Asylum is a vibrant, beautifully-imagined, absorbing story of the lines we all cross between sanity and madness. It is also the tale of a spirited woman, a wounded soldier, their impossible love, and the undeniable call of freedom.
"Forty million mothers would have followed me out here, if they had known this place existed." Martha's son, Duncan, is the light of her life. After a child is killed at Duncan's school, Martha decides that she must protect him from the world and from the constant, unnameable dangers that plague parents and their children.
So late one night, she kidnaps him and takes him to a cave near the Rio Grande River to live, hidden and isolated. When her hideout is discovered by a strange man, Martha is wary and suspicious, but slowly begins to trust him with her son-never realizing that this man is a detective sent by her husband to bring her back home. As the fiercely protective mother and the detective fall in love, they move ever closer to a final confrontation, a terrible choice, and the revelation of Martha's devastating secret.
Full of haunting atmosphere and seductive tension, Prince of Lost Places is a stirring tale that reaffirms Kathy Hepinstall as a rising talent of psychological suspense.
If only Alice could get rid of her new stepfather, Simon Jester. No one wants to believe that the pieces of his tragic past don't seem to fit-or that he is trying to poison Alice and her older brother. Until the one night her mother comes in to kiss her goodnight and instead whispers a single word..."RUN."
A virgin child dreamed a woman's dreams in the lush, somnolent backwoods of Louisianna. In a year of war, sixteen-year-old Charlotte embarked on a mission of love, only to be set upon by three sodiers in training in a lonely, isolated section of the forest. And thus was a young life destroyed and remade, leaving Charlotte silent and alone, save for something that now grew inside of her. And nine months later when a babe was born--a demon in her eyes--Charlotte abandoned it to the elements, knowing she could never bear to look upon it.
Most wars eventually end. But some continue to rage internally.
Years later, in a world at peace, a friend's gift of pity brings Charlotte to a very special place in the woods. Every night, sad, damaged, overworked and unappreciated women make their way to the House of Gentle Men. Here they find the solace and chaste kindness they so desperately crave, administered by haunted men wishing to atone for the crimes in their pasts.
But Charlotte's past is alive within these welcoming walls. And her own sins and secrets impel her to consort with one--and only one--penitent soul whose accusing conscience has brought him here: a damaged man, no longer a solier, who once joined two comrades to defile a teenage girl in the Louisiana wood.