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Dollar Dreadful Volume One

A Tangle of Shadows and other stories by M. L. Hart

Dollar Dreadful Volume One Cover

"This is a particularly good book... so well-written... impossible for me to stop reading... I would recommend to anyone..."

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This first volume in a series of periodical collections of dark, adult and extreme original genre fiction brings together three shocking short stories from M. L. Hart.

      This superb new collection, only available as an eBook in the Dollar Dreadful range, is all about sex and death. Each story, told in M. L. Hart's absolutely distinctive voice, tackles our eternal preoccupation with Eros and Thanatos, taking in themes of religion, power and control, mental illness, deviancy, violence, pyromania and murder. All three tales are deft, sensual and fully realised, maintaining their intrinsic force throughout. The stories do not fit easily into any one genre, featuring instead a blend of many that is characteristic of this exciting, unusual writer.

      M. L. Hart lives to avidly read, write and draw, all of which are a constant source of pleasure and inspiration for her. She is influenced by all kinds of dark and passionate literature, history, art, music, film and science. She had a chaotic working class upbringing in the north-east of England and, before the age of ten she had attempted 'attempted murder' - unluckily for her and the world, she did not go through with it. At the age of eleven, when her school burned down, they never could prove that she did it.

      She has lived a life of indulgent excess in London for the past eighteen years. She has a BA (hons) in Politics and has studied creative writing with Birkbeck and the Open University. She has published short story collections, articles and poems in various small press publications and has sworn an oath to the goddess of death that one day she will set the literary world ablaze.

      M. L. Hart can be contacted on Twitter @PerzefeniDiz. She is currently working on her second novel and her rousing debut, The Curse of the Ivory Hermaphrodite, will be available soon.

The Short Stories

1) Freak of Nurture
      If, out of the blue, you were offered your deepest desire, would you immediately recognize it for what it was and seize hold of it before it slipped through your fingers forever? And could you even be honest about what that desire might truly be? Could you forsake your whole way of life, throw over your loved ones and life-long beliefs to pursue something utterly unknown? Would you fall prey to temptation, not knowing where it might lead, what its consequences might be? Or would you purse your lips, turn your face away from everything you've ever wanted and refuse it in the name of propriety? Would you really leave behind the daily grind, the mortgage and the marital bed for something so deep and secret you can barely admit it to yourself?
      Christian Trent, weary and soul-sore on the commute home late at night, is confronted with this very proposition...

2) The Voice of Ignition
      Anton's deadly obsession is fuelled by the voice of ignition that always insists, cultivating his urge to burn, prompting pyromania. The voice tells Anton that arson is his holy mission, that he's destined to bring hell-fire to earth as the agent of fate, just and righteous. But despite his deep devotion to his fiery raison d'être, the voice is never satisfied. It whispers to him, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful to see them all burn?' and Anton cannot help but agree. And so the voice's incessancy drives him out on the prowl once again, cans of petrol in his car-boot and intent to commit arson in his heart...

3) A Tangle of Shadows
      You are trying hard to recover from a devastating breakdown. Then, as if by chance, you meet the most lovely, glamorous woman you've ever encountered. She is extraordinarily beautiful and, consequently, far out of your league. So, it is entirely unexpected when she declares her desire for you, how her intention is to satisfy your every whim. And, astoundingly, she proceeds to do so, fulfilling all your needs with a style and nonchalance that captivates you. You are falling madly in love with her and she reciprocates, a new life of delight is unfolding before you like a map of paradise. Then, the rub. She tells you that she is in serious trouble, the kind of trouble that would only get worse if the police were called in. Without even realising it, you've been thoroughly enmeshed in a tangle of shadows and both your lives are at stake...

Rate, review or add to your want or reading lists at Goodreads


"There are traces of Edgar Allen Poe’s writing style in this collection ...
a particularly good book for readers new to the horror genre who aren’t necessarily familiar with all of the sub genres because so many of them are included in these tales ... a frightening and thought-provoking collection of short stories that I would recommend to anyone who likes psychological horror"


"Ms. Hart truly is a master of language ...
The author has opened her heart and bared her soul to the reader. Within these pages are vivid metaphors of introspective thoughts. Her voice beautifully creates the painful images of loss, desire, and regret."
5/5 STARS"

Sandra Vattimo - amazon.com

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Buy and download the EPUB eBook
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You can also purchase, or get a free sample of, this eBook at Smashwords
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Get the KINDLE version at Amazon.

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