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Julie Hearn used to be a tabloid journalist but much prefers writing novels because she is less likely to be sued nowadays for making things up. After her daughter, Tilly, was born she began a degree in Education but switched to English after suffering a panic attack while attempting to teach maths to year six. She went on to complete a Masters Degree in Women's Studies at Oxford University, where an idea for her thesis became the inspiration for her first novel, Follow Me Down. Julie lives in Oxfordshire where she writes full time (most mornings anyway) in a pink and green office in her garden.
Julie Hearn Q&A:
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Ever since I can remember. When I was five I wrote stories about elves and rabbits on scraps of paper and sewed them up the middle to make little books. I wrote diaries too - pages and pages every day - and if nothing exciting had happened I made stuff up. My teenage diaries are shocking, but a pack of lies from start to finish.
I still wanted to write when I left school so I became a journalist. And that was great fun, for a long time, although when it came to making things up, there was only so far I could go!
Why did you decide to write children's books rather than books for adults?
I suppose I'd had enough of writing for adults - first as a journalist, then as a student of English and women's studies. I wanted to give my imagination free rein in a way that didn't have to be clever, or cynical, or have a great wodge of footnotes at the bottom of every page to explain things!
Julie Hearn’s gripping historical story balances romance and violence dextrously as good and evil play out in tandem. Born in adverse circumstances and abandoned as a baby, Jack grows up as foster sister to Janet whom he adores. But while Janet is all sweetness and light there is something dark within Jack, even as a tiniest baby. When Jack is separated from Janet he vows that they will be reunited. Jack will stop at nothing as he pursues his passion despite the high cost, including betrayal, of his obsessive love. Julie Hearn commands the complex and conflicting good and evil emotions of Jack brilliantly. ~ Julia Eccleshare In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Dance of the Dark Heart a small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster... ''This tragic story of unrequited love and a brilliant anti hero is fantastic!' Sarah Murray. Scroll down to read more reviews...
The Merrybegot casts a powerful spell over its readers. Utterly bewitching. Abi Elphinstone In a remote west-country village, all is not as it seems. Rumours of bad magic and witchcraft are spreading. The piskies are whispering in the orchard and an ill wind is blowing. The fingers of blame are all pointing to Nell, the cunning woman's granddaughter. With the Witchfinder General on his way, Nell is alone, trapped, and in fear for her life. Who can she trust? And who will save her? This amazing story is being reissued with a stunning new cover by Karl James Mountford for a new generation of readers to enjoy.
Sweet but dull - that's how life has always been for Hazel Louise Mull-Dare. But on the day of the Epsom Derby, June 4th, 1913, everything changes. A suffragette in a dark coat steps out in front of the King's horse, dying days later from her injuries. Who was she and why did she do it? Hazel is determined to find out. But finding out leads her into worse trouble than she could ever have imagined. It leads to banishment. To secrets that have festered, and a shame that lingers on. To madness and misunderstanding in the place where sugar cane grows. Sweet but dull - that's how life used to be for Hazel Louise Mull-Dare. Not any more.
The lid gave, eventually, with surprisingly little noise. Nothing splintered. Nothing broke. No hinges flew, or even creaked, and for a second or two nothing happened at all. Then came the first scream. It blew out a candle, that scream ...'Shut the lid! For the love of God ...SHUT THE LID!' And so the box was slammed shut, hidden away, and forgotten about. But what lay within was only dormant ...waiting for the time when it would be released, and let loose upon the world. And that time was about to come ...That time is now. This fantastic new novel from acclaimed writer, Julie Hearn, is truly unique and tells of friendship, secrets, love, hate and hope.
How does a doctor examine a person's brain? They won't use any knives on me, will they? Rowan knows he is strange. But dangerous? He didn't mean to scare his sister. In his right mind, he wouldn't hurt a fly. But there's a place he can go where they say they can fix his mind . . . Beyond the bars on the window, England is at war. Behind them, Rowan's own battle is only just beginning. This amazing story gives a thought-provoking look at life in an asylum and the experimental treatments practised at the start of the Second World War. For Rowan, nobody could ever have predicted the effect these treatments would have . .
Come along down, sir. Step this way. Only a shilling, sir, to view the changeling child. Only a shilling to behold the strangest work of nature that ever was. Come sir, follow me down... In the basement a gap is forming. Mysterious voices are calling, and Tom cannot resist. Taking a leap through time Tom meets Astra, the changeling child; the incredible bendy man, and the gorilla woman monsters being shown at Bartholomew Fair. In the dark and seedy backstreets of eighteenth-century London, doctors are paying high prices for unusual bodies to dissect, and Astra and her friends are prime targets. They desperately need Tom's help. But Tom has problems of his own . . . Come, sir. Follow me Down...
Had Rowan been invited to predict how the rest of that day would go his list would have gone something like this: 1. Breakfast 2. A nice long talk with the doctors 3. Lunch 4. A rest, or a walk in the fresh air 5. Another talk with the doctors 6. Supper 7. Read comics for a bit 8. Bed If asked what he would like to happen the list would have been much the same, only with more time for reading, and the proviso that nobody got to see him naked any more. He would also have liked to be smiled at again by the young nurse, Sarah Jane. But that was a private hope, not something to be shared. He would have got Bed right but that's about all. As the second World War begins, Rowan is diagnosed as schizophrenic and sent away to a hospital where the latest treatments are available. But the treatments are experimental still - and nobody predicts the effect they will have on Rowan...
Sweet but dull - that's how life has always been for Hazel Louise Mull-Dare. With money pouring in from the family's Caribbean sugar plantation, a father who spoils her rotten, and no pressure to excel in anything whatsoever, her future is looking as prim and proper as one of her hats. But on the day of the Epsom Derby - June 4th, 1913 - everything changes. A woman in a dark coat steps out in front of the King's horse, dying days later from her injuries. Who was she and why did she do it? Hazel is determined to find out. But finding out leads her into worse trouble than she could ever have imagined. It leads to banishment. To secrets that have festered, and a shame that lingers on. To madness and misunderstanding in the place where sugar cane grows. Sweet but dull - that's how life used to be for Hazel Louise Mull-Dare. Not any more.
Conceived on a May Morning, Nell is claimed by the piskies and faeries as a merrybegot, one of their own. She is a wild child: herb gatherer and healer, spell-weaver and midwife . . . and, some say, a witch.Grace is everything Nell is not. She is the Puritan ministers daughter: beautiful and refined, innocent and sweet-natured . . . to those who think they know her. But she is hiding a secreta secret that will bring everlasting shame to her family should it ever come to light.A merrybegot and a ministers daughtertwo girls who could not have less in common. Yet their fates collide when Grace and her younger sister, Patience, are suddenly spitting pins, struck with fits, and speaking in fevered tongues. The minister is convinced his daughters are the victims of witchcraft. And all signs point to Nell as the source of the trouble. . . .Set during the tumultuous era of the English Civil War, The Ministers Daughter is a spellbinding page-turnerstunning historical fiction that captures the superstition, passion, madness, and magic of a vanished age.From the Compact Disc edition.
The only beautiful thing in Ivy's drab life is her glorious red hair. At a young age, her locks made her the target of Carroty Kate, a 'skinner'. She recruited Ivy to help her coax wealthy children away from their nannies so that she could strip them of their clothes - clothes worth a fortune in the markets of Petticoat Lane. It is years before Ivy escapes and finds her way back to her in-laws. Once there, she finds respite in laudanum. But before she can settle into a stupor and forget the terrible things she has done, Ivy is spotted by a wealthy pre-Raphaelite painter. Oscar Fosdick needs a muse (until now he has had to use his domineering mother as a model, something not conducive to producing his best work, he finds). To him, Ivy is perfect, a stunner. Realising quickly that this painter has more money than sense, Ivy's in-laws order her to sit for him, and to do anything else he demands. But not everyone is happy. Oscar's mother is determined to get rid of Ivy. Oscar's famous neighbour is determined to paint her. Carroty Kate is determined to find her, and Ivy herself is determined to escape . . .
This is the story of Nell who lives with her grandmother, the local cunning woman and healer, in a west country village in the seventeenth century. When one of the minister's daughters falls pregnant, she and her sister attempt to conceal it by accusing Nell of putting a curse on them. The witchfinder general, Matthew Hopkins, is called in and in an atmosphere of fear, the local villagers turn nasty and Nell's grandmother falls victim to their hatred. Nell is all alone, and in great danger.
This is a sparkling, original time travel novel - the story of Tom, who travels back in time to the 18th century where he meets a group of people who are displayed as monsters at Bartholomew Fair. Against a vividly-drawn background, Tom is able to help them tackle some of their difficulties, while at the same time acquiring the strength to tackle his own, modern-day problems. Julie Hearn was formerly a tabloid journalist, and studied Creative Writing with Philip Pullman, who is a supporter of her work. There has been much pre-publication excitement, including press coverage a full year before publication in the Bookseller , Publishing News , and the Times .
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