Authors: R.L. Mathewson
Black Heart: A Cursed Hearts Novel
This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations and events described in this
novel are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously .
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or
by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any
information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except
for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
Edited by Robert Stephens, Jodi Negri & R.L. Mathewson Additional help came from:
Gitte Doherty and Stephanie Shaw e-book ISBN: 9780988573215
Black Heart: A Cursed Hearts Novel © R.L. Mathewson 2013.
All rights reserved.
Other Books by R.L. Mathewson
Neighbor from Hell Series:
Playing for Keeps
Tall, Dark & Lonely
Tall, Dark & Heartless
Hollywood Hearts Series:
A Humble Heart
A Reclusive Heart
I would like to say thank you to everyone who has helped me over the years.
First and foremost, I would like to say a special thank you to Rhonda Valverde and the
wonderful ladies at Vampireromancebooks.com. They were the first readers to actually give
my books a chance and they helped guide me along the way. They’re a wonderful group of
ladies and I miss our Friday night chats. This is also probably the best time to admit that I
haven’t been able to hang out at the forum because I may have, um, lost my password and
need that reset, lol.
What can I say? Lieve was the first one to give me a slap upside the head and point out that
editing in my books was severely lacking. She’s helped me edit, proofread and fix my
technical mishaps over the last couple of years. She’s also helped me develop an unhealthy
obsession with Belgian chocolate, but she’s also been very kind and helped me develop a
writing style that makes what I love to do more enjoyable.
Thank you, Lieve.
Jenn Tabios Carrion, thank you for putting up with my crazy texts and phone calls and
brainstorming this book with me. You helped me a great deal and I truly appreciate it.
You’re the best!
This book is dedicated to my children, Kayley and Shane, my two favorite people in the
About this book
About this Book
Although all of my books mean a great deal to me, this book has a special place in my
heart. This book, or rather, the characters from this book were my first attempt at writing a
novel. I don’t normally go into my personal life, but this book is very important to my
family and this is why:
I started writing this book in 2008 as an escape from a horrible marriage. It was a bad
situation for my two young children and myself and there didn’t seem to be any way out.
Things were made worse by the fact that everyday I was in an insane amount of pain from a
ruptured disc pressing down on my spine.
For months I was unable to fully stand, walk or even sit up without an excruciating
amount of pain. It made matters worse and made it difficult to do much of anything. I’d
wake up in the morning and struggle to take care of two young children, one an infant. My
mother helped us when she could, but the responsibility of taking care of the children was
still on me.
My days were hell, filled with pain and agony as I did my best to take care of my
children. From the moment that they woke up until they went to bed I took care of them.
Once they were in bed for the night, I was finally able to lie down with an ice pack, heating
pad and pop some Advil. It made my already horrible situation even more depressing.
I wanted a way to make things better, but with severely limited funds, no car and living in
constant pain, my choices were limited. My attempts to gain employment and further my
education were destroyed pretty early on, leaving us dependent on our bad situation.
I didn’t want that life for my children, didn’t want it for myself so I started teaching
myself anything and everything that I could in the hopes that I would be able to do
something from home that would allow me to support my children on my own. I tried
website design, looked into several online businesses, but nothing worked for me.
Feeling depressed and needing an escape more than ever, I started getting back into
reading. When I was a kid I was probably the biggest bookworm in my school’s very long
history, but that changed when I went to college. I started to read less and less and started
focusing on other things.
Once I stared reading again, this time romance novels, I couldn’t stop. I loved them,
more than I ever thought possible. I especially loved the ones with humor. A lot of books
were great and made my days more tolerable. Unfortunately, a lot of books were also not so
good and left me wondering how they were able to get published.
I remember sitting on the couch one day, my children were watching a movie and I was
reading this really horrible book. I mean, it was awful, so much so that I had to stop ten
pages in. I sat there wondering how in the hell that book got published. Somehow that
thought propelled me into thinking that perhaps I could write a book.
At first I laughed it off. I’d tried to write a book several times years ago when I was still
in college and had never been able to get past the first sentence. Back then writing a book
had been pointless, but things had also been different back then. I had a job, was getting an
education and had other things to do to keep myself busy.
Sitting on that couch while my kids watched another Disney movie I realized that I’d
reached the point where I had absolutely nothing to lose. I remember standing up and taking
the ten painful steps to my small desk only to have to turn right back around, shuffle and get
my ice pack. By the time that I made it back to the couch I wanted nothing more than to lie
down on the ice pack and try to numb the pain in my back, but I was done.
I turned back around, shuffled and eventually made it back to my desk where I sat down,
powered up the computer that barely got attention and opened a word document. I had an
idea in my head that I’d been toying with for years and decided to go for it.
I was surprised when the story began to write itself and I was even more surprised by
how much I loved it. It gave me the distraction that I needed, gave me hope and most of all,
it gave me something to look forward to.
Every morning I would get up around five and wrote until it was time to take care of the
kids. Then I would work off and on during the day around their needs. Once I put them
down to bed for the night I wrote until one, sometimes two in the morning. I kept up this
hectic schedule for a few months until one day I was able to write the words, “The End.”
I was beyond thrilled, mostly because it was the best book ever written. I was pretty
damn sure of this at the time. I could picture the book getting published, being made into a
movie, the whole nine yards. Then a small problem occurred to me.
I didn’t know how to get a book published.
So, I started researching and what I found had me wanting to give up on the writing
altogether. Getting published traditionally took an insane amount of work, patience and
time. I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I wanted my book, correction, the best
book ever written, published. So I put off publishing it for a little while longer after deciding
that I should read through my perfect book and tidy it up a bit so that when I sent it off to
agents and publishers that it would look absolutely perfect for them.
I sat down and started to read. By the time that I made it all the way to the end, I was
banging my head against the desk and groaning. The book sucked, absolutely sucked. I
mean, it was godawful, looked like it had been written by two thirteen year old girls high on
caffeine and pure sugar.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that no one would want to read this book never mind
publish it, so it was with a heavy heart that I started deleting chapters. The only problem
was that I loved the characters. Tristan and Marty had started my love for writing, had given
me hope and had helped me in too many ways to count.
I didn’t want to say goodbye to them. So, I kept the first chapter, which is in this book
and the last chapter and put them away in a file so that one day I could work on them again.
After that I went on to write
Tall, Dark & Lonely
A Humble Heart
. I worked a lot
harder on those books and by the time that I felt comfortable looking into publishing those
books, I found an article about self-publishing.
I went on to publish a few books, taking a break every now and then to visit with Tristan
and Marty. A few months ago when I decided to take a break to focus on my health, I
decided to see what I could do with their book. They deserved a happy ending and I was
determined to give it to them. The only problem was that I wasn’t sure what that happy
ending was going to look like.
It took a lot of time, daydreaming, harassing friends and bugging the crap out of them,
but finally one day everything just…..clicked. I knew what I wanted to do with their story. I
started working and didn’t stop until it was done.
Once it was done, something still felt off……