A House Divided

Title: A House Divided
Release Date: November 11, 2010
Pages: 340
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Keith Lafleur thinks he’s cut the deal of a lifetime. The huge old, two-story house is his for the taking as long as he can move it to a new location. It’s too big to move as is, but Lafleur’s solution is simple: cut it in half. He has no idea, though, that by splitting the house he’ll be dividing a family, a family long dead, a family that still exists in the house . . .

Angelica Batiste is a young, mentally challenged woman with a unique gift. Her mind, no more advanced than a ten-year-old child’s, sees things before they happen. Not only does she see them, she draws them with extraordinary perfection.

When Angelica moves into part of an old, two-story house with her cousin and a friend, her gift suddenly turns into a terrifying power she can not control. The house feeds it. The house needs it. And only death can make it stop.


The idea for A House Divided came to me when a friend showed me the house he grew up in. He claimed it was haunted, and although I was fascinated with his story, I was more enthralled with the fact that the house was only half of its original structure. I sought out the other half of the house, which was occupied by a single mother and two children, and learned that they were experiencing even more paranormal activity than was claimed by my friend.

Even better than investigating the house that was indeed divided, was researching more of the old Couir de Mardi Gras traditions in the small rural towns near my home. I’d known about the horseback riding Mardi Gras, but had never had the opportunity to attend one. What a blast that was!


“LeBlanc’s prose is a flying leap into the labyrinth of madness. Her images are unforgettable.”

Louisiana Libraries Magazine

“A powerful, gripping read.”
Who Dunnit


For two straight days, Morgan Devillier roamed the halls of her two-story home, clutching a bloodstained towel. The blood belonged to her baby. The towel to Crowley General, where they’d scraped the child from her womb. “A miscarriage,” the doctor had said, and for a while, Morgan believed him. She suspected shock could do that to a person. Keep their mind locked in space, unable to think.

The whole time she’d rested in that hospital bed, the only thing she focused on was the month and year stenciled in black letters on the calendar that hung near the foot of her bed. One of the nurses had flipped over the page not long after settling her in, all the while jabbering about it being the first of the month. The picture showcased at the top of the calendar didn’t capture Morgan’s attention. She didn’t care about snow-covered mountains. But the month and year, she’d never forget.


Wasn’t that supposed to be the month of Valentines and candy? Of love and romance? Not now. Not here. Not for her.

Too many questions came and went without answers for Morgan, the two most important being: Why her? Why this child?

It wasn’t until two days ago, while waiting for her discharge papers, that God shed some light on her confusion. He’d brought the answer by way of a preacher, who’d stopped by to wish the patients in Ward 16 a speedy recover and to say a healing prayer or two. Morgan didn’t even remember the man’s name, but she kept the small bible he offered her.

She didn’t open the book until he left the room, and the revelations that soon came to her felt like cool, spring water to a woman dying of thirst. She wept with understanding as she read scripture after scripture, feeling the very hand of God soothe her ruptured heart.

The hardest truth to swallow was one Morgan should have suspected for some time. Joseph, her husband, bore the responsibility for the loss of their baby. He was an adulterous drunk, a bigot, a liar, and a blatant hypocrite, who genuflected before the main alter in St. Anthony’s Catholic Church every Sunday. A virtual house divided against itself, Joseph was destined to fall. The first brick had already tumbled away, as evidenced by her empty womb. She should have known, should have suspected an adversity of this magnitude would occur, for a person can only spit in God’s face so many times before He spits back.

Morgan carried that knowledge home, that and the sense that she too might bear some responsibility for this staggering ill fortune. Had she been a more attentive wife, a stronger prayer warrior, Joseph might not have strayed, and God might have shown them mercy. But she hadn’t been attentive or prayerful. Instead, she’d whined and complained, screamed and threatened, always trying to get Joseph to notice her, even if only in a negative light.
It was too late for prayer now. God’s wrath lay upon them, and Morgan remained convinced that the loss of her child signaled only the beginning. There would be no hope for her four remaining children, for Joseph’s sins would follow them forever. The bible passage she’d been repeating to herself over the last forty-eight hours attested to that fact.

“The iniquity of the fathers would visit their children unto the third and fourth generation.”
Morgan refused to let that happen. No longer would she be slothful. She’d already lost one child, she wasn’t about to lose the other four to damnation.

Copyright 2006-2008 Deborah LeBlanc