Are you ready?
Spring is in the air and with the warm weather approaching there’s nothing like heading out to the garden or a park and enjoying a refreshing drink. A picnic perhaps. And to accompany all that – losing yourself in a good book.
You may even be on your holidays. Travelling on a plane. On a sun lounger by the pool or on the beach with the sound of the waves crashing on the foreshore.
Or maybe you’re tucked up in bed ready to get stuck into a damn good horror?
Thank you readers!
Last weekend, I was thrilled to find out The Heartbreaker: 13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories reached #37 in the Top 100 free kindle charts on the Amazon bestsellers: Low Fantasy & Dark Fantasy Horror charts. Not bad for my first book and first attempt at marketing. So thank you to all of those who have downloaded or purchased a copy so far. I’m so excited for you to read it and to hear what you think.
It’s now Friday and a new weekend is upon us and the perfect time to tuck into one of the books, if you’re like me, that are piling up and crying out to be read. Oh, the screams coming from those pages – it’s enough to keep a man awake at night!
“A little more knowledge might light our way.” Yoda, Star Wars, Episode III
So I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a little more about the stories in this anthology, to give you a little more flavour of what to expect.
First of all, you won’t be reading the same story twice; or a whole bunch of stories that are similar in theme, content, character and kills. Secondly, “no two points of view feel the same.”
To quote one Amazon reviewer: “I also liked the fact that there’s a range of different protagonists in this anthology – male, female, gay, straight, old, young. Because of this no two viewpoints feel the same.” The Reader.
I really worked hard to make sure there was something here for everyone and to give each reader some variety. It was important to me to create characters that readers could relate to, feel for. And in case of the villains – revile in their delectable devilry. I also wanted to create a cast within each story where the characters also brought out the best and the worst in each other. Protagonists, antagonists and supporting characters all have backstories (in the appropriate measures of course) which I hope readers will enjoy.
When I read anthologies, I connect with some stories more than others so I’m really excited to hear which stories people liked and which characters they felt most connected to.
The stories of The Heartbreaker: 13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories
To wet your appetite, give you more of a taster, I thought it was a good idea to give you a run down of each story – a mini blurb if you like. (I’ve omitted The Heartbreaker from the list but you can find details here). So here we go…
- BLACK MIST. Under the watchful eye of her sinister step-father, Ray, teenager Rosie takes time out from her studies when she is leant a mysterious book by the equally mysterious proprietor of Liandri’s Second-Hand Book Store & Other Antiquities. As the threat increases on Rosie’s life, our heroine decides enough is enough and turns to the pages of this curiously gothic-looking book for help.
- CURSE OF THE DREAMWEAVER. Jackson Moon is a young football star who has it all. Career. Fame. Fortune. And a loving family. He’s about to lose it all. All in a single moment. One bad choice. And for every choice that’s made – there’s always a price to pay.
- THE ARTIST. Actress Josephine Winthrop is invited to dinner by the elusive benefactor of her play. The Count, as he is known, seduces Jospehine into a world of love, passion, art and opportunity. But The Count is not all he makes out to be and things take a sinister turn when Josephine begins to feel she’s not quite all there.
- LET’S NOT TALK ABOUT KEVIN. Locked up in the basement, Kevin wonders why his parents don’t love him anymore. With no friends or family to talk to, and only a radio for company, things take a sudden turn for the better. Or at least that’s what he hopes for when unexpected visitors arrive.
- HEAVENLY WATERS. Kicking back in his boat on a secluded lake is how Tony enjoys his spare time. Cracking open a can of beer, he hopes to catch a large pike rumoured to be hiding in these calm, but murky waters. But he gets more than he bargained for when something much larger and more beautiful snags his interest. A seductive mermaid leads him into a hidden paradise where pleasures beyond his imagination await his arrival.
- THE GOOD BOY. Plagued by the loss of his missing son, and haunted by dreams of his own childhood, Jacob Stone receives a call to visit his ex-wife who claims she has seen the ghost of their son, Toby. Pulling the clues together, Jacob goes in search of the boy to discover what happened to him. And to find out if he’s dead or alive.
- LIVING WITH YOUR PARENTS CAN BE MURDER. What could possibly go wrong when you’re in your forties and still living with your parents? A mother who’s an incessant nag. A father who doesn’t say boo to a goose. And a green demon who constantly plays devil’s advocate. In this comedy horror, Sandy Bulwinkle is about to find out what can go wrong when his living situation comes crashing down and he can’t take the pressure any more.
- THE VANISHED. Be careful what you wish for is how the saying goes. But what if you wish for something buried deep in your subconscious? Something you didn’t even realise was there? Bullied. Lonely. Confused. Growing up is hard for Matthew. And his life is about to get even more horrifying when his dreams and his nightmares come true – finding himself in a post-apocolyptic world all of his own making.
- THE UNFORGIVING. Struggling to cope with single-parent life, Mike Saunders does his best to connect with his five-year-old son, Aiden. And as Aiden’s behaviour becomes even more strange and erratic, the father of one finds himself revisiting the past in the hope of making a better future for both him and his son.
- GONE. Forty. Single. And still trolling the bars seaching for the one, Ethan has outlived the life he once knew. Now in the middle of a hot summer, a single bite from a mosquito is about to change all of that. Faced with a sudden illness that feels like death, he wakes to find an unexpected companion lying in his bed.
- THE DIARY OF ETHEL EDIE BROWNE. On the outside Penny Arbuckle appears to be prim and proper – a gentrified young woman living in modern times. But independent and confident, Penny’s fearlessness is put to the test when an old diary from the 1920s mysteriously appears on the bedroom floor. Can reading the thoughts of a housewife who lived a hundred years ago bring the past to life? After all, they’re only words on a page. Aren’t they?
- PROTÉGÉ. It’s a blazing hot day and Ben Chambers is stuck in traffic on the motorway, late for an interview. On his arrival his host, a man called Vanguard, challenges him to a game of chess. But who is interviewing who? What is Vanguard’s secret? And why was Ben really invited to a secluded lodge in the middle of the woods?
There you have it, folks. I’ve tried not to give too much away.
Super villains. Vampires. Mermaids. Monsters. Ghosts. Evil Step Fathers. Zombies. Demons. Serial killers. Clones and cannibals.
Blood. Bones. Fangs. Gore. Spooks. Thrills and spills. Psychological scares. Horror and terror.
This anthology has them all. And more.
Don’t forget to check out The Heartbreaker page for more details on the book’s title story. Would be great to hear what you think.
Happy reading and enjoy your weekend.
Mark Young’s The Heartbreaker: 13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories is now available worldwide from Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and in Paperback.
Text by Mark Young.
© 2019 Mark Young. All rights reserved.