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The Headless Bartender

53 pages46 minutes


The last time autumn storms blew through the town of Merfisham, a young woman disappeared...

This time, September winds deliver a headless bartender on the front steps of Keel’s, the local pub. The townspeople are enchanted by his charm, despite his missing head. But not everyone believes his presence is a blessing. With the arrival of Serena Odell, a moon-eyed woman in search of a husband, three old fishermen in the village predict another woman will soon vanish.

Driven by her desire for love, Serena pursues the new bartender. One night on the way home from a date with him, she spies a ghostly figure above the waves. Was it merely a trick of the fog? Why won’t the headless bartender tell her how he lost his head? Serena means to find out, but what is she willing to trade for the answer and how much will she sacrifice for love? *For readers seventeen and up.

The Headless Bartender is a haunting new fairy tale by Jan M. Alexander. If you like romantic ghost stories set in seaside towns, immortal flowers, vengeful mermaids, and epic curses, you might like this unique tale about the intricacies, magic and mysteries of love.

"A wonderfully strange tale about the pain and capriciousness of love. Jan M. Alexander is a marvelous storyteller with a compelling sense of romance and the supernatural. “The Headless Bartender” is both haunting and memorable." —John Marco, author of seven fantasy novels including the popular Tyrants and Kings series and The Bronze Knight series.

“In “The Headless Bartender,” Jan M. Alexander spins a mesmerizing tale about the bliss and agony of love. The headless Ragnar Quirin is a character like none I’ve encountered before; he and Serena Odell will haunt readers long after they’ve turned the final page. Alexander creates these intricate, emotionally affecting characters against a tapestry of myth and magic: Immortal flowers, headless men, ghosts, vengeful mermaids, and epic curses all play a part in a story that is as mysterious and beautiful as the sea itself. Alexander’s immense creative powers are on full display here; the ending will leave you breathless.” —-Alexis Schaitkin, author of "Bones," The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013 and Saint X

“Love, loss, a curse, and a missing appendage--Alexander’s part fairytale, part seaside fable with just a touch of horror is completely absorbing. “The Headless Bartender” is perfect to curl up with on a cold, rainy night as you ponder that timeless question . . . just how far would you go for true love?” —Carolyn MacCullough, author of “Once A Witch” and “Always A Witch”

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