17 stories of difficult love, broken hearts, lost hope, and discarded truths. Love brings pain, vulnerability, and demands of revenge. Hardened Hearts spills the sum of darkness and light concerning the measures of love; including works from Meg Elison, author of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award), Tom Deady, author of Haven (Winner of the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel), Gwendolyn Kiste, author of And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe and Pretty Marys All in a Row, and many more.
Hardened Hearts dips from speculative, horror, science fiction, fantasy, into literary and then out of the classifiable and into the waters of unpinned genres, but pure entertainment nonetheless.
FOREWORD - James Newman
IT BREAKS MY HEART TO WATCH YOU ROT - Somer Canon
WHAT IS LOVE? - Calvin Demmer
HEIRLOOM - Theresa Braun
THE RECLUSE - John Boden
40 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR MONSTER LOVER - Gwendolyn Kiste
DOG TIRED - Eddie Generous
THE PINK BALLOON - Tom Deady
IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO - J.L. Knight
BURNING SAMANTHA - Scott Hallam
CONSUMED - Madhvi Ramani
CLASS OF 2000 - Robert Dean
LEARNING TO LOVE - Jennifer Williams
BROTHERS - Leo X. Robertson
PORCELAIN SKIN - Laura Blackwell
THE HEART OF THE ORCHARD - Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
MEETING THE PARENTS - Sarah L. Johnson
MATCHMAKER - Meg Elison
|Product dimensions:||5.24(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.55(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hardened Hearts is a collection of short stories that is gross, lovely, sad, scary, terrifying, evil and all that is in between. The characters hearts will be laid bare, some you can literally see. Are you afraid yet? Some of the horror can be in told a few pages, some will take longer, but all of them are sure to entertain you. I give the collection four stars, but have also included a one sentence review for each story.
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this collection. Most of the books I read these days have romance of some description in them. And inevitably, there will be a Happy Ever After. So, it makes to change to read a collection of books that, while following the romance theme, there ain't no hearts and flowers, there ain't no Happy Ever After either. Because, just as much as falling in love can be the best thing that happens to you, it can also be the worst. I didn't read all the stories here, about half I read. The ones I did read were very well written, in various ways from first and third person, and in past and present tense. Some about normal everyday people, some paranormal, some scary, and some were just plain weird. There was one book, that I could not read, that is written in the second person, as in YOU. Very odd. But the one that stuck with me is possibly the shortest one here. Its only maybe 4 pages, but it proper had me bawling my eyes out! It Breaks My Heart To Watch You Rot, by Somer Canon, 4 pages but 5 full stars! It tells the story of a woman whose husband (partner, lover, it matters not) has clearly lost his mind but she still visits, still tells him the car is his, that SHE is his. She takes him out, every Saturday, as he used to do himself. And then she gets the call he is gone. No names are mentioned, just he/she and him/her, but it gets the point across. "Love didn't provide the real happy ending. There is no such thing between two lovers such as them." If you want something a little (and a LOT) different, this one will be for you. If you are feeling very anti-Valentine's, again, one for you. Just don't expect Cupid's Bow to be anywhere around. For the ten books that I read, 4 stars overall, with 5 Stars for the book mentioned. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**
Love. It can consume a person with joy, light-hearted dreams or pain and dark nightmares. Unrequited love, vulnerability and the twisted need for vengeance, the negative side of having loved can be deadly. There is love between friends and family. HARDENED HEARTS is a collection of love at its best and worst from a group of authors who make an art out of storytelling. There is a story for everyone from fantasy to dark horror and they prove that love makes the world go ‘round and ‘round and ‘round. From the fascinating foreword to the very last word, prepare to be entertained through a myriad of your own emotions and reactions to each tale, all in the name of love. From prized peach pies to one’s perfect match in love, the stories are short, but intriguing, some leaving us to continue “the rest of the story” in our minds, others leaving us looking over our shoulders for things that go bump in the night. Want a quick, dark werewolf story? It’s here. How about a story of love between a mortal and an immortal? There is definitely a downside to that kind of love. Ever wonder “What is Love?” Hear the thoughts of a killer, a destroyer as he ponders if those he kills are loved or missed. Is he facing remorse or have centuries of death and the thirst for blood worn him down? Is he looking for love himself? What will Rachel see in the “Heirloom” mirror hung in her psychology office? As she counsels her patients, the mirror looms large, triggering “memories” that couldn’t possibly be hers and yet… Is she losing her mind or is the mirror taking her to other worlds, other times? Short on time, yet looking for authors long on talent? Take a quick break with one tale at a time or devour the entire anthology in one sitting! I received a complimentary Review copy from Theresa Braun!