A.M. Harte

Biography

A.M. Harte is a London-based speculative fiction enthusiast and chocolate addict. She is an advocate of indie publishing in any shape or form. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what 'free time' means, and enjoys procrastinating on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/amharte).

An avid reader, she's been writing fiction far longer than anybody's been paying attention. Her work includes the dark fantasy novel "Above Ground" and the zombie love collection "Hungry For You". Some wonderful places that have featured her short stories are: Best of Friday Flash Volume 2, Flashes In The Dark, 12 Days 2010, The Random Eye & the charity anthology Tales for Canterbury.

During the daytime she works in print production. She lives in London, a city not half as foggy as some seem to think.

Where to find A.M. Harte online

Website: http://amharte.com
Twitter: @am_harte
Facebook: Facebook profile

Books

Solid Moments
Price: $2.80 USD. Words: 15,890. Language: British English. Published: January 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Life is in the little things. The moments between lovers. The precious minutes when we are most ourselves. A.M. Harte’s second collection is a tribute to the defining fragments of life – a blind girl rediscovering sight, a scorned lover finding solace in research, a brother meeting the sister he never knew he had... Solid Moments captures the essence of passion in the moments it lays itself bare.
Above Ground
Price: $3.80 USD. Words: 76,460. Language: British English. Published: December 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
The first glimpse of sun may be her last. When Lilith Gray goes above ground, she hardly expects to stay there — much less be trapped with no way home. Hunted by trackers and threatened by the infected, Lilith is on the run, desperate to return underground. Her only hope lies with a werewolf with a dark agenda of his own. Lilith’s life has been reduced to one choice: Adapt. Or die trying.
Belonging
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,010. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The virus is spreading. Born in a test tube, Anthony has never set foot outside the company compound. But when his best friend Laura goes out to rescue the evacuees, Anthony is the only one who can bring her back to safety. He alone is immune to the genetic mutations ravaging the city... because his genes created the virus. It’s the greatest experiment yet. One Anthony may not survive.
Hungry For You
Price: $2.80 USD. Words: 23,040. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2011 by 1889 Labs. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror, Fiction » Horror » General
(4.44)
In this haunting short story collection, anything is possible—a dying musician turns to tea for inspiration; a police sergeant struggles with a very unusual victim; a young wife is trapped in a house hiding unimaginable evil.... With "Hungry For You", A.M. Harte explores the disturbing and delightful in an anthology that unearths the thin boundary between love and death.
Other Sides: 12 Webfiction Tales
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 33,970. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2010 by 1889 Labs. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author
This speculative fiction collection will capture the imagination and dazzle the senses, displaying the insight and wonderful originality of online fiction. Featuring Zoe E. Whitten, G.L. Drummond, MeiLin Miranda, MCM, Lyn Thorne-Alder & Chris Childs, Isa K., M. Jones, Erica Bercegeay & Charissa Cotrill, T.L. Whiteman, M.C.A. Hogarth, Nancy Brauer, and A.M. Harte, with an introduction by Jan Oda.

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Smashwords book reviews by A.M. Harte

  • Hush Money (Talent Chronicles) on Sep. 10, 2010

    Hush Money is the very promising debut of Susan Bischoff‘s Talent Chronicles series, a YA urban fantasy series that — rather refreshingly — avoids any mention of vampires or sparkling (because teens are interested in more than just blood-sucking). High school girl Joss has done everything in her power to go unnoticed. She eats alone, carefully controls her grades, and doesn’t even think about talking to her crush. Because Joss has a terrible secret: she’s has a Talent… and kids with psychic abilities tend to mysteriously disappear. Then new girl Kat joins the school, and puts herself into harm’s way whilst rescuing Joss from the school bully. In a world in which psychic abilities are punishable by imprisonment, Joss must choose between keeping her secret and doing what’s right to save a friend. Susan Bischoff has played her cards right: she has managed to write a captivating, engaging tale perfect for teens as well as all of us who… errr… aren’t quite teens any more. In a YA market over-saturated with the same old stories, Hush Money is a breath of fresh air and more besides: it is a fast-paced, engaging introduction to the Talent Chronicles series which will leave you hungry for the sequel. What truly sets Hush Money apart from its contemporaries are the characters. You’ve got the high school loneliness and angst of early Smallville, the large crew of cool X-men like-powers, but most importantly you have teenagers who are three-dimensional believable people. Joss and her crush Dylan are the protagonists, with the story alternating between their points of view, but the strong character depth extends beyond the main players, creating a fully-fleshed setting which you’ll enjoy sinking into. Furthermore, there is none of this “we were destined to be together” malarkey — in true awkward teen style, the romance is light-hearted, bumbling, and achingly sweet. The plot had a good mixture of high school drama and larger overpowering (governmental) threat, and while the issue is partially resolved, Susan Bischoff has planted many small seeds which will lead to a gripping, addictive series. After all, while Hush Money is dedicated to introducing the characters, world and dangers, the novel hints that there will be far more at stake in times to come. My only nitpick? While I enjoyed the alternating points of view — particularly because they were so distinct, and true to each character — the initial few pages felt a little forced. Joss’ use of ‘like’ felt a little contrived, a little “trying too hard to be a teenager”… but either the voice improved, or the story sucked me in soon after, because it didn’t bother me throughout the rest of the novel. Overall, Hush Money is just the tip of what might become a very huge iceberg. Be careful if you skim past this novel, because even with the smallest scratch you might find yourself sinking right in. That’s where you’ll find me, waiting for the sequel.
  • Forsaken By Shadow on Dec. 26, 2010

    I like the cover image of this novel. There’s something tantalizing about it, something that keeps drawing my eye again and again. The font is cool, too. But what about the insides of this book? Forsaken By Shadow is a gripping urban fantasy romance which follows Cade Shepherd as he wakes up injured and alone in a motel with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Making a life for himself as a champion boxer, Cade cannot shake the nagging sensation that something is missing from his life. Then Embry — a gorgeous, strangely familiar woman — turns up and gives Cade his old life back, bringing back his memories of the hidden paranormal world and his life as a Shadow Walker. But the memories come at a price, for Embry’s father has been kidnapped and Cade is her only hope to rescue him…. This story starts with a bang. Cade wakes up alone in a seedy motel, disoriented, panicked, his hands severely burned. There was someone he wanted to save, someone he was willing to die for, but who? Jump forward several years and Cade is walking onto the Ultimate Fighter arena — he may not remember who he is, but his body sure remembers how to fight. This is one tough protagonist who can kick ass and won’t let anything bring him down. He’s a survivor. Embry is a survivor in a different way. She arrives on the scene set to seduce Cade and rope him into helping her father, and it soon becomes clear that for her young(er) age, she’s toughed up fast, although vestiges of her innocence remain. She’s determined to rescue her father from a high-security army base no matter the risk, even if the Counsel has specifically told her not to. A woman with spunk, then. (It certainly helps that she can produce flames at will.) Illegality and physical danger aside, the situation is made even more difficult by the attraction between Cade and Embry, which amnesia and time did not manage to erase. The reluctance is more on Cade’s part than Embry’s, for Cade admires Embry’s father and thinks he should treat Embry as a little sister. But it’s impossible to deny his feelings, and things tend to get heated with a firestarter around (pun intended). I don’t know whether this story simply came at the right time, but I really enjoyed it. The characters are believable, the romance isn’t overdone, and there are some wicked, well-written action scenes. The worldbuilding was equally intriguing, with a host of unusual magical talents and the feeling that much more lies beneath the surface — I can only hope Nolan comes out with a sequel soon. Perhaps my only nitpick? I didn’t find Cade as sexy as I wanted him to be. I’m a pretty tough customer that way, but I much preferred amnesiac Cade to himself-with-memories — the devil-may-care attitude of the former was far more gripping than the duty-torn responsible version. Not to say he wasn’t sexy; I’m just picky. :-D In sum, a suspensful, entertaining urban fantasy set in an intriguing world where the paranormal hides beneath the known. Worth checking out!
  • His Robot Girlfriend on Jan. 06, 2011

    Middle-aged widower Mike Smith teaches by day and vegetates in front of the TV by night. His life is dull, uneventful. But the humdrum routine is broken when he sees an ad for a Daffodil robot and, on impulse, he splurges on a sexy female robot that can be anything and everything he wants it to be. Mike’s life will never be the same again. His Robot Girlfriend is set in a not-too-distant future where androids are commonplace, working as waiters, cleaners, gardeners, and more besides. The world is interesting and realistic; the author has put careful thought into the small details, which makes it all the more believable. While I found a few of those details niggling — such as TVs being called vueTees — for the most part the setting of the novel is very immersive. It certainly helps that the characters are likable: it isn’t so difficult to empathize with Mike’s life as a middle school teacher, and Patience (the android) has an endearing, quirky personality — although I must admit a large part of her charm comes from the fact that she’s not human. But perhaps the characters are too likeable. Far from being an exploration of the moral issues behind androids and human/robot love, His Robot Girlfriend is a light-hearted romance about two nice individuals whose only wish is to please the other. Of course, given the differences between them (and Mike’s stereotypical maleness), making each other happy is no easy task. I have to confess that I wasn’t expecting a romance, which somewhat coloured my impression of the book. I was a little disappointed that the novel did not cover any of the expected android themes in any depth, besides in small scenes such as Patience being offended when a waiter calls her an ‘it’, and her not being allowed to gamble in Las Vegas. The concept of the story is interesting, but there is so much more it could offer. I suppose the main critique I would have of His Robot Girlfriend is that there wasn’t much substance to the plot. While I enjoyed Allison’s vision of a possible future, the story lacks conflict; the two potential challenges Mike would have had to overcome were quickly resolved, and my expectations that the story would develop into something fuller were not met. Allison’s writing style is perhaps a little choppy, and takes some getting used to, but overall I was impressed by the quality of this ebook. For something free, Wesley Allison has produced a respectable book, and I would be curious to check out his future releases. In sum, I enjoyed reading His Robot Girlfriend for its unusual vision of the future, although the plot itself is a little thin on the ground. It’s a light-hearted, quick read (I raced through it in one sitting), and I’d recommend it to fans of fluffy HEA science fiction romance.
  • The Mind Readers, Book 1 on Jan. 17, 2011

    First of all, look at that cover! Yes, I’m as guilty as the next person of judging a book by its cover, even when said book is an ebook. Particularly for indie publications, many authors don’t seem to think of investing into their design — a serious mistake (please, no more 3D videogame people!). The Mind Readers immediately creates a good impression with that cover alone: it’s eye-catching, looks professional, and I’d like to know who made it. Give me a good cover and I’m more likely to be forgiving about other mistakes… not that I found much to complain about in this novel. The Mind Readers follows the adventures of Cameron Winters, a small-town teenager in Maine who struggles to fit in with her peers at school. It doesn’t help that Cameron has a secret she must protect at all costs: she can read minds. Then Lewis Douglas arrives and shows Cameron exactly who she could be if she embraces her hidden talents. Tempted by the possibility of freedom, Cameron follows Lewis to meet others of her kind… only to find herself caught in a deadly power play. Part murder mystery, part paranormal adventure, The Mind Readers blends romance and intrigue into an escapist novella that will leave you hungry for more. The action kicks off when a student’s body washes up to shore and Cameron hears the thoughts of the killer in the crowd. With her talents, she’s the only one who can identify the murderer, but she’s been trained from a young age to hide her gifts and do absolutely nothing to expose them — even if it means putting other people in danger. The story thus raises an interesting moral dilemma: is protecting yourself (at the expense of others) right? Cameron’s domineering grandmother seems to think so, even though the guilt eats away at Cameron’s heart. It is only when Lewis arrives, and shows Cameron how she could live her life differently, that Cameron begins to take a more proactive approach and uses — rather than hiding from — her talents. I have to admit, Cameron was a little annoying at the start: whiny, a bit of a pushover, and using her mind reading talents in order to be friends with the ‘cool’ kids, who love how she always says the right thing at the right time. But the discovery of other mind readers gives Cameron the confidence boost she needs, and she becomes stronger and more self-aware. By the end, the seedlings for a kickass heroine have been established. The supporting cast is a little mixed. Lewis intrigued me, particularly because he’s a lot more than a sweet love interest, and has unexpected depths. The dangerous Maddox caught my imagination too, as did Aaron, who runs a school for mind readers which made me think of a darker, twisted version of X-Men. What had me hooked was that I couldn’t tell who was telling the truth, nor who I should be rooting for. Unfortunately, many of the other characters missed the mark with me, particularly Cameron’s high school classmates who all seemed a little too shallow. I also found it a little unbelievable that many of the male characters were incredibly good-looking; while I expect that in a romance, I found it odd in a YA. My only other nitpick is the ending. Cameron grows so much during this novel: her experiences have shaped her into a stronger person ready for the future danger she will face. I won’t say much to avoid giving spoilers, except that it was a little bit of a disappointment to find Cam back to almost exactly where she started, even if she’s a changed person. However, I must admit the frustrating killer cliffhanger sweetened my disappointment and left me looking forward to reading the next in the series. In sum, I’d recommend checking out The Mind Readers. It’s a fast-paced entertaining YA ideal for fans of the paranormal.
  • Death By A Dark Horse on March 08, 2011

    Thea Campbell goes out for revenge when the one person who is simultaneously the most likely and least likely candidate for thief steals her horse. But Olympic hopeful Valerie Parsons is past caring about being arrested: she’s dead, and the police think Thea’s horse is the killer. Desperate to prove her horse’s innocence, Thea is soon drawn into ever-deepening danger as she confronts those looking to settle the score. Toss in her wrecked love life and a sexy geology professor who stirs up more than dust, and Thea’s life is out of control. Too many details are not adding up. Who is the killer? And will Thea find them before they find her? The cleverly titled Death By A Dark Horse has all the trappings of an engaging murder mystery: high stakes, an independent heroine, intimidating goons and a clever villain. All of this is set upon a backdrop of horse-riding and dressage, so right off the bat I can easily recommend this story to horse lovers. If you’re not much of a horse person, rest assured this novel might still have something to offer you. As a main character, Thea is very much someone you can relate to. She’s clever — and runs her own accounting business — but at the same time she’s also the “average Jane” of the story who is caught up in events greater than herself. The same could be said for all the characters in the book: Schreyer manages to avoid stereotypes and make her cast believable. Even the police — who at first I found very annoying and frustrating — ultimately are behaving as you’d expect them to behave if some average citizen decided to play detective. As for the plot, it’s fast-paced and entertaining, and most importantly for a murder mystery, the resolution isn’t predictable: the identity of the killer was certainly a ‘dark horse’ that took me by surprise. Interwoven with the murder plot is Thea’s love life (in crisis) and her insecurities when it comes to horse-riding — while neither of these two elements dominate in the novel, they provide much needed colour and background to Thea’s character. In sum, if you enjoy murder-mysteries with strong female leads, or if you like horses, then this might be a book for you.
  • Devil's Eye on March 10, 2011

    Set in Kait Nolan’s Mirus universe, Devil’s Eye is a fast-paced urban fantasy detective novella which expands upon the intriguing world-building first seen in Forsaken By Shadow. This bite-sized tale is just long enough to whet your appetite and introduce some interesting new characters, but also works well as a stand-alone for those unfamiliar with Nolan’s work. Trouble. That’s what wolf-shifter Mick thinks when a beautiful woman appears in his New Orleans bar with a hurricane at her back. His first impression is confirmed when Sophie starts asking questions about his missing waitress, Liza. Mick will do anything to rescue a member of the pack he’s made for himself, including forming an unlikely alliance with a woman with a badge. The entire plot of Devil’s Eye takes place over a few scant, action-packed hours, in which Mick and Sophie team up despite their reservations in order to save a missing waitress. What follows is a fast-paced Indiana Jones-esque adventure through a cemetery and a mysterious crypt, escaping from bear shifters, zombies, and much, much worse. As usual, Nolan writes kick ass characters. Sophie is a demi-goddess and a tough cop to boot; Mick (who had a cameo in Forsaken By Shadow) is a gruff werewolf who is very protective of his employees. While there is some building romantic tension between the two leads, their relationship is not the focus of Devil’s Eye, although I have to say the sparks between them do add a little extra tingle to the story, leaving you hungry for more. To top it off, Nolan writes with great skill. Her prose is clean, simple, engaging and well-edited; she is a credit to the indie author community. On a side note, I think it was very clever of her to use the same cover composition as she did in Forsaken By Shadow, but if I compare the two I actually prefer the texture and blue detail in Devil’s Eye. (Not that you should judge by the cover….) In sum, among the many urban fantasy novels being published, the Mirus universe stands out. If you’re a fan of the genre, you should be reading it.
  • Sounds of Murder on May 03, 2011

    Sounds of Murder is a cozy murder mystery debut which brings back childhood memories of reading the adventures of amateur sleuths like Nancy Drew — except instead of a teenaged detective, we have an older, professional sleuth who uses acoustics to solve crime. Main character Pamela Barnes is a university professor with an expertise in acoustic technology and the classical personality of an amateur sleuth: she’s passionate, stubborn, and can’t leave well enough alone -- choosing to continue investigating despite common sense. Set on a university backdrop of academic politics and high-stakes research, the novel features a wide enough range of potential suspects to keep you guessing. The use of acoustic technology to solve the crime is certainly original, although the drawback of using sound waves is that it makes it very difficult for the reader to do any sleuthing of their own, which tends to be one of the appeals of the genre. Overall, however, the story is well-written and engaging; this is a light-hearted, quick read. While a little slow-paced, the realistic setting and use of acoustic technology are enough to intrigue. Recommended for fans of gentle murder mysteries with strong romantic subplots. [Read my full review at quillsandzebras.]
  • Levels Of Deception on May 19, 2011

    A university professor is dead. Important fossils are missing. The last thing Thea Campbell wants is to be involved in another murder investigation, but when her absentee boyfriend Paul becomes the prime suspect, she has little choice in the matter. Thea is determined to clear Paul’s name, whatever it takes—whether he likes it or not. But will their relationship survive the pressure? And will Thea find the killer before he finds her? The levels of deception are far more personal than anyone could have imagined in this fast-paced murder mystery. Levels of Deception is the second book in the Thea Campbell Mystery series, and picks up roughly where the first book, Death By A Dark Horse, left off. After dancing around each other throughout Dark Horse, Thea and sexy palaeontologist Paul are finally together, but it’s not all romance and sunshine. Concerned for her safety, Paul is determined to put a stop to Thea’s amateur sleuthing, even if it’s his own life on the line. That he doesn’t trust her only riles up Thea’s infamous temper, meaning that their relationship is rocky even before the murder investigation begins! Then the department chair of Paul’s university is murdered, and the very fossils he was working on are stolen. All signs point to Paul, but Thea does some digging of her own and becomes embroiled in university intrigue. Coupled with an unexpected visit from her emotionally-distant mother, a family wedding on the horizon, and being far too stubborn and reckless for her own good, and Thea has far more trouble on her hands than she can handle. In Levels of Deception, Schreyer has kept the interwoven plot lines, surprise twists, well-rounded characters and realistic dialogue that so entertained us in the first book of the series, but she’s made some changes as well. There’s less horse-riding and more romantic drama, meaning that Levels of Deception is likely to have wider appeal than its prequel. In sum, if you're looking for a cozy murder-mystery with nail-biting romantic drama, this is the book for you.
  • Tales of Pneuma 01: The Divine Chocolate Shop on Sep. 13, 2011

    Tales of Pneuma is off to a promising start. In this first story, "The Divine Chocolate Shop", main character, Liam, wants to investigate the deaths of his parents. During his investigation, he ends up working at a rather bizarre chocolate shop. His employment will bring him to the very fringes of reality, to the smudged line between life, death, and alternate universes. Written in present tense, the writing style is quite literary with highly descriptive prose, and unusually striking images. I often find literary fiction tedious to read, but in this case the author manages to tread the fine line and produce well-planned prose without neglecting the plot. The story is set in modern times, with a hint of the surreal. The fantasy elements are unusual and imaginative (such as chocolates that contain human emotions), which is refreshing. While Tales of Pneuma is an ongoing short story collection, with each story being self-contained, there is an overarching plot which ties everything neatly together. Thus Tales of Pneuma will appeal to both short story and serial lovers alike. I'd recommend checking out other stories in the series.
  • Stories About Things on Feb. 09, 2012

    I downloaded this book for free from Smashwords and read through the entire collection Well-written, bite-sized, imaginative flash fiction which serve as an ideal introduction to Blythe's work. The anthology is separated into two parts: contemporary stories (about things of this world), and speculative stories (about fairies and things of other worlds). All the 13 stories feature striking and evocative writing, but also fairly unusual characters and plots -- an old man who becomes so obsessed with time travel that his own life passes him by, a widow consumed by grief for her late husband, and a man addicted to maple syrup who is struggling to remember his dark past. My personal favourite was the autumnal story "Leaves of Trees", which was unexpectedly sinister and very imaginative. Recommended for those looking for a quick and thought-provoking read.