My Cursed Heart

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
60 Pages
Reviewed on 12/09/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Steve Zimcosky is an award winning and international selling author. He was born in the Slavic Village area of Cleveland, Ohio and has wanted to be an author since elementary school while reading books like White Fang and Call of the Wild by Jack London. He spends his retirement time writing short stories on a variety of subjects he hopes his readers will enjoy. Some of his favorite authors include Stephen King, James Clavell and Vivien Chien.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

My Cursed Heart is a dark fantasy novella written by Steve Zimcosky and illustrated by Ivetic Vicai. His plane was landing at the Cleveland Airport on his way to attend his elder brother’s funeral when he was drawn back in his memory to a moment when he was ten years old. It was when his grandfather died, and his father was crying as they stood together at the cemetery. He still couldn’t quite wrap his mind around the awful fact that his grandfather, father and, now, his brother, had all died at the age of 65 years, and they had all died of massive heart attacks. Yet, they were all hale and hearty and free of any heart ailments before they died.

He’d be 65 himself in a few years, and the fatalistic notion that he too would die, no matter what he did to protect himself, loomed heavy over him. He did remember hearing his grandmother and his Aunt Kate discussing, in whispered tones, a family curse, and agreeing that the curse had claimed his grandfather’s life. His sister, Ivy, scoffed at him when he shared that long ago conversation, but her eyes showed both disbelief and fear. How could their family have been cursed like this and why? His research would lead him first to Smock, Pennsylvania, where his Aunt Helen lived, and eventually deep into the heart of Europe in the 1700s.

My Cursed Heart reaches into a shared, ancient fear of curses and the evil beings who are able to destroy lives simply with the recitation of a few hateful words. I loved sharing in the narrator’s search as he sought to learn more about his family’s history and followed those clues that led him back into the dark forested places of the past. Zimcosky’s plot is intricate and clever, and his characters are credible and finely honed. Ivetic Vicai’s lovely colored illustrations bring the legend and the parties to that ancient curse to life most vividly. This well written and absorbing tale kept me happily reading from first word to last, and I’m hoping to come across more work by this talented author. My Cursed Heart is most highly recommended.

Trudi LoPreto

My Cursed Heart is a very short story about a witch's curse cast many years ago and still working today. The story is told in the first person by the oldest brother of the family, who is afraid he will soon be the next one to become the victim of the curse. He is traveling home to attend his older brother’s funeral and realizes that both his father and brother have died suddenly and without any real medical problems. He, his sisters and younger brother gather together and try to find answers to the mystery. In hopes of finding the truth, they visit Aunt Helen who will share the origin of the curse that was made a long time ago and that will cause each man of the family to die at the age of sixty-five from a heart attack. Alwina is the witch that has been watching over the family for several generations, making sure the curse is fulfilled.

My Cursed Heart is a little bit of fantasy, with a little bit of whimsy. Author Steve Zimcosky has written a short story with likable characters and a very unusual plot that is both entertaining and different. While there are only 60 pages to My Cursed Heart, the story is well told and moves along at just the right pace. There is a very unique and clever story line that is worth reading. If you enjoy reading short stories with themes of family interaction, then this is the book for you. I think My Cursed Heart is a fast paced, enjoyable story that will give your imagination some work.


This short story is easy to read and hard to put down once you start it. I found the book relatable as heart disease runs in my family, and it's easy to feel that genetic predispositions are "curses" that you cannot avoid. I enjoyed the magical story line and especially the ending which is both entertaining and educational.

Mike Z

Awesome read, you will not be disappointed!!!!!!!!!!
Loved the book My Cursed Heart, this book really peaks your interest early in the story line and makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens and find out if the curse is still ,well you will have to read the book and find out. I highly recommend it!!!!!!!!!!

Paul Frey

WOW! What a fun, fun read that was!! I totally forgot how uplifting a good read is for me personally!!


As an avid reader, I found the story way out of my usual genre. It combines the occult with a kind of fairy tale quality told in the present. The author skillfully weaves a story about a young man in Poland several hundred years ago, whose brothers convince him of having been bewitched - resulting in her death and a curse that he and his male heirs will die at the age of 65. The story teller recounts the deaths of his grandfather, father and now a brother all of whom died at the age of 65 with no apparent cardiac pathology. The mention of a rare disorder, spontaneous coronary artery dissection, suffered by his 60 year old sister, enables the curse to at last be broken enabling the rest of the family to live out their lives without constant fear. Integrating various neighborhoods and landmarks in the greater Cleveland area as well as the town in Pennsylvania adds to the interest and uniqueness of this story.

Allison Chabon

I was so excited to receive the book in the mail. I have read The Old Man from the Hill written by Steve Zimcosky and am a big fan of his work. HIs new boo My Cursed Hart did not disappoint. It was a real page turner. It is an interesting story, cleverly told, in a style that makes you feel like you are watching it all unfold from inside the story. I plan to share it with friends. I am sure they will enjoy it, too.

Al H.

Great job,Steve. Enjoyed it very much. Liked how you mentioned places I am very much acquainted with. Will be waiting for your next book.

Suze Frey

I received my copy of My Cursed Heart and read it right away. I’m a fast reader, so finished it in one sitting. Although short, this book is uplifting, warm with many Cleveland landmarks, well-known to Clevelanders. A story with family interactions many of us have experienced in our own families, and mystic overtones with a surprise ending. Truly enjoyed this read and recommend it.

Kathleen H

The story was very interesting and really kept my mind working. I know it’s fictional but can’t help but feel it does happen. I can’t wait for the next book! Great job Steve Zimcosky!


This is a story about a family, where men have been dying exactly at the age of 65 by a heart attack for generations. With the age of the protagonist approaching this deadline, he has to figure out whether it's a rather shocking co-incidence or something supernatural about these deaths. As luck would have it, out of nowhere, he remembers a conversation that he had overheard between his grandmother and aunt. They were talking about a curse that was taking the lives of the men of their families. Now, he must dig in deep to find whether there is any truth to what his grandmother was saying or he must start working on the necessary arrangements before his earthly departure.

The plot is quite captivating and very much engaging. The dialogues are in indirect speech, and the narration is in the first person. The possibility of a witch casting a spell proved quite entertaining. It is a very quick story and an avid reader would be able to finish it in a matter of a couple of hours.

Diana H

It has been a while since I have read a fairy tale, thoroughly enjoyed every page!

Stephani Hartmann

Very good read!!!! Great story!
This was clever and well written. You never truly know throughout the entire time reading it just how it will end. The author is extremely talented. You can actually feel what is going on in the story. Everyone should read this.