The Stories

19 - Copy - CopyI’m MARK HAYSOM , author of LOVE, LOVE ME DO and IMAGINEand I have written the following short stories as free gifts for my readers. They can be read by following the links below – or you can click the links for FREE downloads to your Kindle.


Christmas morning, 1963

1Nanna Bird has been on her knees so long, they hurt. It’s been worth it though for the look on Baxter’s face every time his car slaloms through the Scalextric chicane and flashes past the finishing line while hers goes careering off at the first bend.

It’s been worth it too for 


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Spring, 1964: South London

TheTestAt the end of the school day, they emerge like cannon fire: exploding through the school’s double doors with a running, tumbling, scuffling roar.

Teasing, laughing, pinching, shoving – eleven years old and set free – they burst chaotically across the wide tarmac of the sun-filled playground and out through the


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Devil’s Dyke, near Brighton, East Sussex: May 1962

Close Your EyesSmall and alone, Baxter Bird waits by the side of the narrow country road that meanders across the crest of the green rolling Downs.

He shields his eyes against the glare of the noon sun and peers unhappily into the distance, following the


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1960: Rhosilli, The Gower Peninsula, Wales

A Song to the Sea coverLight is fading fast from the biting February afternoon as the double-decked bus accelerates away from the last of the scattered cottages of the small cliff-top village.

The bus gathers speed, begins to


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 Oscar coverOn his tenth Christmas morning, Oscar Oliver sits alone on the sagging sofa in the dimly-lit front room, determined not to cry.

He knows she wouldn’t have wanted him to cry.

But the trouble is, he knows too


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24 Responses to The Stories

  1. caroline higgins March 6, 2018 at 8:14 pm #

    bought Love, Love me do a few days ago and haven’t put it down , just finished it . would like to say what a fantastic book can’t wait to read Imagine – will read your short stories in between – in the back of Love,Love me do a new novel See My Baby Jive was mentioned – when will this be published

    • Mark Haysom March 7, 2018 at 7:08 am #

      Dear Carole
      So glad you enjoyed LOVE, LOVE ME DO. At the last moment, my publisher decided to change the title of my second novel – it was planned to be SEE MY BABY JIVE but became IMAGINE. Hope you enjoy it and the short stories. Mark.

  2. Christine Toase January 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

    Have just read Oscar Oliver’s Christmas, it was a lovely story beautifully written. I can’t remember the last time I cried reading a book. Thank you x

  3. Janet Wagstaff January 5, 2017 at 8:19 am #

    Thank you so much for access to your short stories. What a lovely thing to do. I will be reading your books too. What a gift you have as a writer. Happy New Year Mark. Janet

    • Mark Haysom January 6, 2017 at 8:03 am #

      I’m so glad you have enjoyed the stories, Janet. Hopefully you will get as much enjoyment from LOVE, LOVE ME DO and then IMAGINE.

  4. Linda Darlow December 1, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Thank you Mark, for allowing us to read your books free of charge. I loved Oscar Oliver’s Christmas, and I have just downloaded your other books. I cannot wait to read them. I will also be downloading your novels, Love, Love me do and Imagine. Thank you again.

    • Mark Haysom December 2, 2016 at 8:06 am #

      That’s wonderful, Linda. Thank you.

  5. Elaine Gray November 16, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

    Thank you so much Mark for allowing us readers to gain access of your free short story books….I have just read close your eyes…and can,t wait to read Love love me do…which should be with me shortly…It,s been very good to read the reviews….as it let me know which books to read first….I have also bought Imagine…so I,m looking forward to reading again…And I must Thank You Personally Mark…for sharing your short stories…You have a Very Special Gift in your Writing….and making us want More….I hope there will be more books to follow especially for buying…as your books I am certain….I will want to keep reading….

    • Mark Haysom November 17, 2016 at 7:49 am #

      Thank you so much for your kind comments, Elaine. I do hope you enjoy LOVE, LOVE ME DO – and, perhaps, the sequel, IMAGINE.

  6. Elspeth badman November 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

    Can you buy the books in big print as my eyes are not very good.

    • Mark Haysom November 2, 2016 at 8:23 am #

      Thank you for the enquiry, Elspeth. I’m afraid that the free short stories are only available online or as a free e-book download to a Kindle or tablet. The two novels are though available in paperback.

  7. Tracey Swain July 2, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    I really enjoyed all 5 of your short stories, so much so that I’ve purchased both of your books. Love love me do and Imagine and must say I’m really looking forward to reading them. Your short stories have got me back into reading again, so thank you

    • Mark Haysom July 4, 2016 at 8:32 am #

      That’s very kind, Tracey. I’m so glad you enjoyed the stories – and I hope you like the novels!

  8. Kay Bellew April 7, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

    Are any of your books available in the library or bookstores,?Thank you for pointing me in the right direction to read your novels.

    • Mark Haysom April 8, 2016 at 8:15 am #

      Both my novels are available through any bookshop – although you may have to order them, Kay. You would need to check with your local library to see whether they have it. Most do.

  9. Kay Bellew April 5, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    I’m looking forward to reading the story about the Gower as that’s where I originated from kept this one until last .You have definitely got a new fan & I will be downloading your books I think I’ll start with love love me do.Is there any order to to read them.

    • Mark Haysom April 6, 2016 at 7:12 am #

      I’m glad you OSCAR OLIVER’S CHRISTMAS, Kay, and that you are about to embark on the novels. LOVE, LOVE ME DO is the first and IMAGINE is the sequel. Before you start LOVE, LOVE ME DO, however, you might like to read CLOSE YOUR EYES, one of the free short stories. THE GIFT should be kept until you read IMAGINE.

  10. Kay Bellew April 5, 2016 at 8:43 pm #

    I can relate to this story my daughter Ellens died when she was 37yrs old with cancer & she left 2 small children aged 4yrs & 8yrs her favourite time of year was Christmas she would start in June!!! It’s been hard for all of us but with the support of family & friends we make it a magical time for the children.

  11. Elaine Stocks February 12, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    Thank you for your prompt reply, I’m going to enjoy getting to know all the people in your books & introducing them to my daughter who is also a big reader & we have similar likes in what we read ,

  12. Elaine Stocks February 12, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    Please could you tell me if the books have to be read in a certain order, iv just seen them for the 1st time & can’t wait to start reading them , thank you

    • Mark Haysom February 12, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

      The stories can be read in any order, Elaine. But CLOSE YOUR EYES is also a lead in to my debut novel, LOVE, LOVE ME DO. Characters from that novel and from it’s sequel, IMAGINE, also appear in THE GIFT – and you might want to get to know these characters before reading the short story. There’s another character from IMAGINE in A SONG TO THE SEA. The other two stories – THE TEST and OSCAR OLIVER – stand alone. Hope this helps!

  13. Catherine January 20, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    I have read Oscar Oliver’s Christmas, I really enjoyed this book, very sad but I really enjoyed the book, I have now downloaded all the other books by Mark and look forward to reading them, will help me get through the long winter evenings. Thank you Mark for writing such good stories.

    • Mark Haysom January 21, 2016 at 8:16 am #

      Thank you so much for downloading all my books, Catherine – especially the novels, LOVE, LOVE ME DO and IMAGINE. Hope you enjoy them!

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