Book Jacket


rank 5919
word count 16198
date submitted 13.04.2009
date updated 14.04.2009
genres: Thriller, Horror, Non-fiction, Harp...
classification: adult

The House of my Dreams

Isabelle Laur

You don't believe in ghosts ?

You're going to change your mind.

My house destroyed my life.

"Our houses are alive."


I had a stable job as an English teacher and married life didn't appear too complicated. My life was simple and uneventful, that is, until the day everything took a dramatic turn for the worse.

April 8th, 1997: I purchased the house of my dreams.

April 10th, 1997: Philippe, my husband, lost his job.

April 13th, 1997: We were involved in a serious car accident.

June 1997: I was weakened by major health problems due to the accident.

September 1997: A deep clinical depression set in…

This is just the start of a list that ended only when I had sold my house. Quickly, I began to reflect about the influences that my home might have had on my life. Meanwhile, I spent two long years living in a permanent nightmare before I became able to accept the unacceptable. After that, it took time to gain the capacity to understand what was happening to me, then to confront and free myself from that which was hiding in my house.

The story I tell reads like a novel. It contains a formidable message of hope for all those whose lives aren't going quite as planned and who dont understand why not.

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death, entity, fantom, geopathic, ghost, haunted home, soul, spirit, testimony

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donnaburgess wrote 1392 days ago

I love haunted house tales and this one is very interesting. Well written--as Clare commented, I enjoy the tone you used, creating a more of a "true story" feel. Nice work.


Donna Burgess (Darklands)

Clare Hill wrote 1633 days ago

Chilling! A lot of things to go wrong in a short space of time, I can see why the house seems to be the centre of all the problems. I'll echo what others have said - a fictionalised, "based on a true story" novel-like telling might be more appropriate than the diary format for this.

aquapictures wrote 1748 days ago

I am surprised French were supersticious like the Japanese. I kept on reading your book. Was the address good address for you? J'esper que vous avez des temps de lire ma livere "A Thousand Words". Merci d'ecrir The House of My Dreams.

DMC wrote 1766 days ago


I like this.
But in my humble opinion, you need to decide whether you want this to be a novel or a diary. I think if you take onboard John Booth’s comments (your 1st review) you’ll get plenty more readers. Human aspects to ground us in characters using dialogue etc. - essential for a good novel. You do have a great framework to build upon here if you choose this route and therefore you’ve done most of the hard work.
But that said I did read it all and I think it’s very interesting.
So, I’ll pop this on my shelf for a while.
Best wishes and good luck,
David (Green Ore)

Paolito wrote 1773 days ago

This promises to be an extremely interesting story, but at this point there's far too much narration. You need to convert your high points into actual scenes (Read Scene and Structure by Jack W. Bickham...helped me a lot.)

Read that book and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King (I know this isn't fiction, but fiction-writing techniques will help you to bring your story to life. When you've revised your opening chapter based on your reading, let me know and I'll take another look.


sestius wrote 1789 days ago

Hi Isabelle - forgive the crass approach, particularly in your comments, but noticed you had not been on-line for some days and wanted to get hold of you. Was hoping you might be able to drop by 'Pistols' for that return you promised, before Sunday 31 May if possible. I read, commented on and backed 'The House' some time ago, and am desperate to get return reads before Sunday 31 May evening (UK time), when the deadline for the Editor's Desk ends. I currently find myself on the damned desk, but need all the support I can get to stay there until that deadline. Hope you can drop by before then. Good to see you either way, and hope you are well. If by some chance you have already visited and I have missed that, please let me know. It's been a mad month, and my brain is frazzled. Best - sestius (p.s. will of course delete this from your book page asap)

Jeff Blackmer wrote 1798 days ago

What a fascinating story you tell, an amazing true story.
I like how you've shown the house as almost a member of the family, an essense which has had an effect upon the events that transpired. You tell the story in a very interesting and compelling way. This is an original story that makes us want to read on.
Good luck on the charts with this! Putting you on my shelf.

sestius wrote 1802 days ago

Hello, Isabelle - this is a very moving story, and I cannot believe that so many of life's challenges happened to you within such a short space of time. It must have been very hard. 1997 was a rotten year, by all accounts. You describe all the events vividly and with the feeling very clearly coming across that you were *there*. And if they didn't happen to you, you dissemble *excellently* :) Here are my random thoughts:

- "first thing[']s first": delete apostrophe;
- "rather nice... rather peaceful": I could only see two, but I suspect you use 'rather' as an adjective quite a bit. Be careful not to over-use. It did jump out at me;
- "likewis[e]": need the 'e';
- "same [time] it": need the 'time', I think;
- "to at least": split infinitives - discuss. Many will say there's nothing wrong with them (strictly true), but personally I find that they sound inelegant, which your writing otherwise is not. I'dre-cast a sentence to avoid them, but it's a persona thing;
- "I... got": there seems to be a stray para break here. It may be an Authonomy glitch, but worth checking;
- "ambiance": should be 'ambience';
- "waiting for us [at the house]": you have quite a few references to 'the house' here, so I'd delete the bit in square brackets;
- "I [subsequently] heard": don't think you need the 'subsequently', and it felt a bit over-written;
- "grevious": should be a word, but isn't. It's 'grievous';
- I think you had 'chiropractor' spelled incorrectly somewhere, but I can't find it now. Sorry. I may be wrong.

Oherwise, great stuff, m'dear, and worth a moment on the shelf. Could I possibly please ask you to pop along to my own bit of nonsense on here, 'Pistols', and let me have your thoughts? I'd be eternally grateful if you could try to drop by before the end of the month (trying desperately to stay on that damned desk...). Best of luck with this - sestius

Charity Shindle wrote 1803 days ago

Your synopsis makes the story seem exciting. The beginning of the story did not produce the effect that the synopsis had readied me for when reading. I do like the premise and I am putting in on my shelf. Below are the only offerings that I have.
Ch 1- Par 4 – Line 4—Likewis—missing an e.
Dec 1996 Par 2 – Line 6 The word ‘what’ seems to be missing. ‘or that’s at least we told ourselves’.
See you in print,

JasonDiggy wrote 1806 days ago

Bonjour Isabelle! Your story has the building blocks of something special. The strength of your work is the intimate nature of your writing, It really engages the reader. i know it did for me. It straddles the place between memoir and fiction, and I'm not sure where you plan to place it. If it is fiction, or even as memoir, come to think of it, my suggestion is to slow down the pace. So much happens at each point, and each can be made richer by providing more detail, and, importantly, dialogue. For example, what were the conversations you had with Philippe when you were thinking about buying the house? Or when you were worried about the price? You mention the first fight, so let's see it in more detail. Also, the car accident if quite harrowing. Still, as a reader, I really wanted and needed more detail of what you went through. I'm writing this and I'm unsure if this is the way you mean your book to be, or if it is an outline you plan to flesh out more later. In any case, there's a lot going for your work. Good luck with this and your writing.

Michael (au Québec, Canada)
The Last Coming Out Story

Freddie Omm wrote 1807 days ago

malicious houses are terrifying and their atmosphere can poison lives.

you tell a harrowing tale of doom. there is no doubt in my mind that what you write is no more or less than the literal truth, a terrible warning.

i was drawn into the nightmare of your experience. i too have had experiences of the sort you describe, although nowhere near as bad.

i am shelving your book and wish you all the best with it.


mrsbawheed wrote 1809 days ago

Hi, I found your book and liked the blog, I felt myself almost wanting to reach into the pages and grab you and phillipe into my normal healthy house. How awful for you both. I await more capters, but for now it will go onto my bookshelf.


AnnabelleP wrote 1826 days ago

Hi Isabelle
I liked reading your book, I was drawn in by the pitch and the story does not disappoint. The true life element of this adds to the atmosphere, makes it more compelling. I wonder how you manged to cope with it all and also wonder if writing this was like a kind of therepy. You write well, I found the story flowed along and kept me interested. I'd like to see a wee bit more of how you felt about it all but this is easily remedied by adding bits in where you think they will fit and not interrupt the flow. I liked this, and it's on my revolving shelf, good luck with it!
(Adelaide Short)

Janet Marie wrote 1826 days ago

Hi Isabelle.

I picked your excerpt based on your bio. I want to know the real deal. Excellent first sentence in that it sums up the entire story. Engaging set up to purchasing house: the then current stablity within your life. This emphasizes the contrast once the house is purchased. Tension rises with each ill fated incident. The reader can't help but feel sorry for you. Effective switch from feelings about house before purchase to the sinister feeling on the first day you opened the door. Great conflict to have your husband not want the house, and he was right. Creates anticipation of additional unfortunate events. You certainly capture reader's attention with your horrifying experiences. The boxes falling, the icy touch, the gloom, the illnesses and the possessions. This is an excellent story.

On my shelf. Good luck.

Janet Marie - Spirit Prisoners.

Joanna Stephen-Ward wrote 1829 days ago


Your gripping synopsis drew me in.

Cut words like rather and quite. Because they mean 'to some extent or somewhat, they weaken the following word. And you use somewhat twice when you first visit THE house. You use phrases honesty, simply put, meanwhile. Cut them. Their absense will sharpen your prose.

Instead of doing a map of the house, paint a picture of it in words.

This sounds like a corss between a novel and non-fiction. I think it would work brilliantly as a novel.

Your cover just over a year in one chapter. This could be expanded into probably 4 chapters. Describe your arguements with Phillipe in dialogue.

This has certainly got a lot of promise and has the makings of a very powerful novel. On my Watch List.


Joanna Stephen-Ward wrote 1829 days ago


Your gripping synopsis drew me in.

Cut words like rather and quite. Because they mean 'to some extent or somewhat, they weaken the following word. And you use somewhat twice when you first visit THE house. You use phrases honesty, simply put, meanwhile. Cut them. Their absense will sharpen your prose.

Instead of doing a map of the house, paint a picture of it in words.

This sounds like a corss between a novel and non-fiction. I think it would work brilliantly as a novel.

Your cover just over a year in one chapter. This could be expanded into probably 4 chapters. Describe your arguement with Phillie in dialogue.

This has certainly got a lot of promise. On my Watch List.


Cy wrote 1833 days ago

Your story is a subject that terrifies us all. While I would like to see more, I am backing this!
Much luck
the Neverlight

Eric Rhodes wrote 1834 days ago

Hi Isabelle,
I've lived in a house like that and know the horror for real. This is a great subject but I would suggest you simply write it as a novel. As John stated it's a diary now and while I find it very interesting it's not quite right.
I'm backing it now and I'm certain you'll get it worked out. All the best, Eric

Isabelle Laur wrote 1834 days ago
Isabelle Laur wrote 1834 days ago
John Booth wrote 1835 days ago

Hi Isabelle,

You write well and this story could touch all our hearts.

However, I think you have to decide what you are writing. What this is at the moment is a diary, but we can't get involved with the characters because you are simply describing a series of events. You need to introduce us to yourself and your husband through small vignettes of dialogue. Especially at the beginning.

First thing I would reccoment is to break up your pitch into paragraphs. One screen large blocks of text are difficult for the eye to follow.

Then pick some moment, signing the papers for the house, talking to family and introduce yourself and your husband to us. Show us your hopes and fears at that point.

I'm watchlisting this and will be back

All the best