Heart of Winter

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
A creepy winter´s tale which forms a prelude to the upcoming novel The Invisible Hand, first in the Shakespeare´s Moon series of books. For lovers of the macabre, the gothic, the unexplained and the unexaplainable. More
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About James Hartley

James was born on the Wirral, England, in 1973 on a rainy Thursday. He shares his birthday with Bono, Sid Vicious and two even nastier pieces of work, John Wilkes Booth and Mark David Chapman.

His mother was a hairdresser with her own business and his father worked in a local refinery which pours filth into the sky over the Mersey to this day. They married young and James was their first child. He has two younger brothers and a still-expanding family in the area. As an Everton fan he suffered years of Liverpool success throughout the seventies and was thrilled when his father took a job in Singapore and the family moved lock, stock and two smoking barrels to Asia.

He spent five fine years growing up in the city state before returning to the rain, storms, comprehensive schools and desolate beauty of the Scottish east coast. Later years took he and his family to baking hot Muscat, in Oman, and a Syria that has since been bombed off the surface of the planet.

James studied journalism in London and later travelled through Ireland, France, Germany and India generally having a good time, before finally settling in Madrid, Spain, where he now lives with his wife and two young children.

James loves writing and reading - the former a compulsion, the latter a pleasure - as well as running, boxing, eating, drinking and trying to see, and enjoy, the good things in life.

Some of his favourite writers, in no particular order, are Enid Blyton, Mark E Smith, Eca de Quieroz, Beryl Bainbridge, Malcolm Lowry, Charles Bukowski, Judy Blume, DH Lawrence, Paul Theroux (if it´s travel), Somerset Maugham and Jan Morris.

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Reviews

Review by: L.V. Waterman on Oct. 23, 2016 :
An eerie tale about a young girl arriving at a remote boarding school, which seems to possess secrets within its ancient, ivy-covered walls. A chance discovery of a mysterious heritage soon reveals her true personality.

This short YA story had all my favourite ingredients, gothic buildings, mystery, magic forces, which pulled me into the story right until the finish. The writing style flowed perfectly, painting vivid pictures, without overdoing it. This is a free prequel to The Invisible Hand, part one of the Shakespeare's Moon series of books, and I must say convinced me to pre-order the main book. Check it out, can highly recommend it!
(review of free book)

Review by: Jason Denness on Oct. 23, 2016 :
This short story has a real Gothic feel to it, a storm, old building, dark library, an evil little girl and people coming out of paintings. Some top characters too, a headmaster with an eye-patch, school would have been much better if I'd had a headmaster like that.

This story is a taster for a series of books that will be starting next year. If this book is anything to go by I'll be signing up for them.
(review of free book)

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