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Pickaxes, grime, and watery oatmeal are all sixteen-year-old Heart has ever known. Growing up in the tunnels, the only breaks in her muscle-aching monotony are the numerous nights spent cramped in a metal box. Stupid runaway mouth. But when strange visions and a hidden map hint there’s more to life than she’s been led to believe — boys being one of them — only one thing weighs on her mind. Escape.
Yet freedom is a tease. Heart merely trades her small prison for a larger one — a transparent dome controlled by the Guardian, an aging leader bent on creating a genetically perfect race. Heart’s birthmark on her shoulder? An abomination that carries a lifetime sentence of slavery for females.
Refusing to let a glass ceiling deter her, Heart searches for a way out of the dome. But unraveling the Guardian’s secrets is a risky endeavor. Human skulls atop crude sticks serve as a warning. Treason is punishable by death. When her new friends are captured, and escape is just an arm’s reach away, Heart must decide. Take the freedom she so desperately wants or save her friends’ lives?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie lives in historic Saratoga Springs, NY with the man of her dreams and her three boys. Being surrounded by testosterone, she overcompensates her femininity by owning everything pink. From her clothing, to purses, to even her pots and pans. She just can’t get enough pink.
She enjoys taking long road trips with her family to the beach and to amusement parks. Luckily, thanks to the invention of digital devices, “Are we there yet?” never passes her kids’ lips. She has one cat that she showers with kissy-baby talk, but who only returns a non-amused glance every once in a while. It’s her third cat to act this way, so she’s wondering if perhaps she should get a dog next time.
From a young age, Julie’s vivid imagination constantly invented story lines around seemingly every day occurrences. But it wasn’t until she began working in a career that required zero creativity, that her need to write poured out like a dam bursting. And she’s been writing ever since.