Today I’m very excited to present to you a fascinating collection of novellas by my dear friend and precious beta reader, Jenny Twist from England. Years ago, Jenny made a new life for herself when she moved to Spain with her family. There, she was inspired by a local myth; The Mantequero. Much like a vampire, this male, attractive being can be dangerous for innocent damsels except, instead of blood, The Mantequero sucks fat from the plump ones among them!
Back in January, I hosted a guest post by Jenny which you can refer to for more details on this fascinating Spanish myth. At the time, Jenny had only published one novella on the subject (“Mantequero”) but further to insistent demands from her readers for a sequel, last January she published a second one titled, “Disappeared”.
By now, Jenny has been awfully obliging to her readers’ unquenchable thirst for the adventures of The Mantequero. She has already published a third sequel, “Sins of the Father”, and in a few days will be releasing a single book that incudes all her three novellas together plus some brand new, mouth-watering material. This thrill-packed gem is called, Tales of the Mantequero.
The book is available on Pre-order until the launch date, October 3rd.
. . .In the south of Spain at the beginning of the twentieth century, village people still believed in this particular fabulous beast. Sometimes they called it a mantequero, and sometimes a sacamantecas; it was a monster which looked like a man, but which lived in wild places and fed on human manteca or fat . . .
Some people still do . . .
This book is a compilation of the three Mantequero stories: Mantequero, Disappeared and Sins of the Father; with the addition of two new stories: The First Mantequero and The Last Mantequero.
Sebastián was nine years old when they caught the Mantequero.
It had been a dreadful year. The spring rains never came and then a hot wind blew in across the sea and withered the crops. The grapes turned to raisins on the vine. The tomatoes were tiny, wrinkled bags. Even the beans failed to grow fat.
The people had taken to stealing what they could from the lord’s land. They knew they could be shot if they were caught but if they did not do it they and their families would die anyway. So they did it.
The long summer wore on and the starving people suffered in the stifling heat; carrying water to the fields to try to save what few crops remained. The houses were like ovens and at night they slept outside on the roofs and balconies.
And then, when it seemed that things could get no worse, the Mantequero came amongst them stealing what little fat they had left on their bones.
Nobody had seen him but everybody knew he had come. Sebastián heard the women whispering among themselves, telling how Rubén Abalafeo had heard a noise in the night of a shutter banging closed and how he found his mother the following morning, thin as a skeleton, staring into space and unable to say what had happened to her. Or of Geraldo Plácido, who had heard something climbing up the wall of his house and slammed the shutters just in time.
After that everybody locked themselves in their houses after dark and made sure the shutters were closed. Night after night they huddled together in the suffocating heat, afraid to let in the cool night air in case something worse came in with it.
But what frightened them most of all was what happened to Rosalita, the daughter of José María Carmen. She had been the plumpest, prettiest girl in the village once, and many a young man had his eye on her as a future wife. She had broad, child-bearing hips and round, firm breasts and was not afraid of hard work. Even now, when everyone was starving, she was still fairly plump. It was said her father was particularly good at finding food on the Lord’s land and that he even stole meat from the eagles’ nests.
Rosalita had obeyed her father and locked herself in, but one night, unable to breathe for the heat, she had flung open the shutters in desperation and the Mantequero came in.
José came home that night to find his pretty daughter completely stripped of fat.
Sebastián heard the horrified whispers of the women. “She was just skin and bones and her breasts were empty bags, hanging like flaps. It is certain the Mantequero came for her.”
“Well, she would have been a feast for him,” said Lola Gonzalez, hastily crossing herself as she spoke. “Perhaps he will be sated for a while.”
So, who is Jenny Twist?
Jenny Twist was born in York and brought up in the West Yorkshire mill town of Heckmondwike, the eldest grandchild of a huge extended family.
She left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and escapologist’s assistant (she was The Lovely Tanya), she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.
She stayed in Oxford working as a recruitment consultant for many years and it was there that she met and married her husband, Vic.
In 2001 they retired and moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dog and cat. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, knitting and attempting to do fiendishly difficult logic puzzles.
She has written two novels – Domingo’s Angel – a love story set in Franco’s Spain and harking back to the Spanish Civil War and beyond – and All in the Mind – a contemporary novel about an old woman who mysteriously begins to get younger
She has also written an anthology of short stories – Take One At Bedtime – and co-written the anthology Bedtime Shadows – with the inimitable Tara Fox Hall.
She has contributed short stories to many other anthologies, of which two – Doppelganger and Uncle Vernon have recently been released as short ebooks.
Her first self-published ebook, Away With the Fairies, was released in September 2012. Her second,
Mantequero, was released in June 2013 and the long-awaited sequel, Disappeared, was released in January 2014. Take One at Bedtime was republished independently in May 2014 and Domingo’s Angel in July 2014. Sins of the Father, the third in the Mantequero series was released in August 2014.
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Preorder your copy of this tantalising mythical gem, here