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Julia Heaberlin Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Playing Dead (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lie Still (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Black-Eyed Susans (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Paper Ghosts (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
We Are All the Same in the Dark (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Night Will Find You (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Author Julia Heaberlin was raised in a small town in the state of Texas called Decatur. This city is close to Ponder (where she set “Playing Dead”, her first novel). Before she was able to drive and kiss some boys, her main form of entertainment in the months of July and August was going to the library. One of her good friends’ mother was the librarian and paid no attention when she loaded up on ten Harlequin romance books that she would spend the weekend with.

During her middle school years, she was considered pleasantly plump, and she would match her barrettes and her knee socks to the outfit she wore for the day.

She wrote a lot about this sweet and handsome boy that she would pass in the halls, that eventually she found out was gay. But just as wonderful as she believed him to be. Julia later got taller, lost weight, got some mascara, and found a boyfriend in a guy named Bubba.

She got “Anna Karenina” one Christmas, and after she started going through some old books of her parents. Things like “Imperial Women”, “The Pearl” by Steinbeck, and “The Godfather”, not to mention books written by Agatha Christie. She was pushed to read about some worthy heroines: women like Josephine March, Anne Frank, and Rebecca’s nameless narrator.

She visited Manderley when she was fifteen and it made her dream of writing a thriller novel. Seven years went by and she became a journalist and had no regrets. She learned about evil, writing, and about wicked surprise more so than she otherwise would have. During the middle of her life, she quit her job (which cut her family’s income in two) wrote two books and every New York publisher rejected her. During this time her husband was her biggest cheerleader.

While being published, it has been a big mess of learning, joy, and frustration. It taught her more about herself. Even if a story is extremely gritty, she is unable to write a story without some humor and hope to it.

“Playing Dead” is a stand alone novel and was released in the year 2012. Tommie McCloud gets a letter that turns his world upside down; it comes to him just days after her dad dies. The woman it comes from says she is Tommie’s mother, and that she was taken when she was just a baby over thirty years ago.

Tommie just wants to keep on thinking the whole thing is a hoax. There is a girl that grew up on a ranch in Texas that finds that she is linked to an awful past. There is the slaughter of a family based in Chicago, a young girl named Adriana is kidnapped, and a beauty queen from Oklahoma is killed.

Tommie tries to figure it all out while a stalker in the shadows is trying to keep some old secrets locked into the dementia wrecked brain of the female that Tommie believed to be her actual mom. All she believed is now in question, and she cannot trust anyone. Tommie has to figure out the real truth about the girl that went missing. Not to mention the threats that are still there.

Fans of the novel enjoyed the shocking ending found within this read. The book is full of well drawn characters that the reader feels they know quite well.

“Lie Still” is a stand alone novel and was released in the year 2013. Emily Page hopes that moving to wealthy town called Clairmont (which is in Texas) from the city of Manhattan it will help her escape her past. It will even help her get away from a stalker she does not know that has taunted her for years. She is about to have her first kid, and she just wants a new start. She finds that being accepted is something of a dangerous game. This is something she learns after being pulled into a group of secretive Texan females, and their leader, named Caroline Warwick.

Quickly, Caroline mysteriously vanishes and Emily faces all kinds of anonymous threats. Are these threats linked to Caroline going missing? Or is it connected to Emily’s horrifying encounter she had in college a few years back? The dark truth emerges about Caroline, and Emily knows that some secrets you just cannot hide. Whoever took Caroline, comes for Emily.

Fans felt this one was not what they were expecting at all, they went in thinking they were getting something run of the mill. That was not what they got. They were pulled into the story, in part by the strong connection they had toward Emily, the main character of the book.

“Black-Eyed Susans” is a stand alone novel and was released in the year 2015. When Tessa Cartwright was just sixteen years old, she was found in a field in Texas, and barely alive. There were bones scattered around her, and she only had fragments of memory of how she was able to be there. Since then, the media has pursued her because she is the only surviving “Black-Eyed Susan”. This is the nickname the victims were given because of the yellow wildflowers that grew on top of their grave. Testimony that Tessa gave about these tragic hours sent a man to death row.

Almost twenty years later, and Tessa is both an artist and a single mom. In the middle of a cold February, she finds something shocking when she finds some newly planted black eyed susans (which are supposed to bloom in the summer). They are right outside the window of her bedroom. She is scared to think about the implications, that the wrong was sent to die by her. She wants the lawyers to exonerate the man about to die. There is little proof.

The team of lawyers want her to undergo hypnosis to find any lost memories. She fears both for her sanity and her teen aged daughter. Is a killer still out there and trying to taunt Tessa with clues? She has to confront some old ghosts and the nightmares to truly figure out what went down that night.

Fans felt this book has some strong characters that make the book as great as it is. Readers felt they were unable to put the book down, as they wanted to see what was going to happen next in the book. Some found this to be a thrilling, morbid, and intense read.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Julia Heaberlin

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