Bewitched, Beloved, and Between Worlds

A review of Noah Chinn’s Bleeding Heart Yard: A Damned Love Story (Mundania Press, 2011)
By Derek Newman-StilleBleeding_Heart_Yard

Werewolves and witchcraft meet alternative worlds in Noah Chinn’s Bleeding Heart Yard: A Damned Love Story. Chinn explores the pervasive power of myths and myth-building, looking at how places come to be associated with mythical explanations, the way children will create urban myths to explain spooky occurrences, and how games and stories can engage in mythologising.

The dichotomy between real and fiction is challenged, puncturing the boundary between the physical and the mythic and putting the reader in a space between the urban world and the fantastic.

For the first time in his life, Peter is able to hit a home run, right through the local witch’s window. Curse and blessing play together as Peter finds a lifetime friendship with the witch’s son despite acquiring a lifetime curse from the witch herself. The key to true cursing pain is to mix blessing and curse, which is why Peter is cursed to be able to find his true love but to only be able to speak to her in swear words. The mixture of curse and blessing define this world – everything is a mixed blessing for the characters – want to believe in the magical world? Excellent, meet a werewolf that wants to kill you.

A werewolf finds a passage through into this world, a virtual buffet of unprepared populace – a world without magic and without defenses. But, this world is not as it seems, there is a strange figure in the sky, a white circle that disrupts his ability to maintain the shape of his prey and forces him back into his natural shape. Now, all he wants is to get home.

Noah Chinn plays with boundaries: the boundaries between worlds, between curse and blessing, between myth and reality. Bleeding Heart Yard: A Damned Love Story forms a liminal place, an ambiguous and shadowy place where characters are forced to face aspects of themselves they would like to keep hidden and come to terms with ideas of home and family that don’t always meet their expectations.

You can explore Noah Chinn’s website to see what projects he is currently working on at To explore more about Bleeding Heart Yard: A Damned Love Story, visit the Mundania Press website at

Derek Newman-Stille

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