The Hazel Tree
by Julia Debski
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Cover Artist: Julia Debski
Available at Amazon and BN
The Hazel Tree revisits a classic Cinderella tale of abuse and sought after freedom from the confines of a cruel life.
Ivy Lune is not your ordinary girl for within her blood flows the secrets of an ancient species of werewolf; a secret that also foretells of a great war and a struggle for ultimate supremacy.
Ivy lives a life of isolation torment at the hands of her aunt and cousins for the majority of her life. Mistreated and neglected, she longs to escape the shackles of her prison-like life. And in that longing, she learns the truth of her identity. She learns her place in a long line of events that were set into motion many years ago. She finds intimacy and belonging in a much larger family.
All the while, unknown to her, there are dangerous forces are at work; old blood ties and murderous plots threaten her chance at happiness beyond her current life.
The Hazel Tree is a tale of mystery and romance set against a supernatural backdrop of terrifying and awesome power.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The power to stop time. I could pause it, get all the chores and medial tasks out of the way so I could focus on more fun and exciting things. Or I could stop time long enough to write a book, drive across the country, etc… The possibilities are endless, for either good or evil.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I went to go speak with several middle school English classes after The Hazel Tree was published. It was not only done as part of my senior project, but also to encourage those who love to write to continue doing so. I was about their age when I started writing seriously. It was great to speak with them and answer their questions. There were a special few who were incredibly inquisitive and excited about my visit. Afterwards I spoke with their teachers and they said that those students were the budding talented writers in their classes, and were really inspired by my visit. It felt amazing to hear that. For my remaining weeks at high school, whenever I saw those specific students, they would often come up and say hello and tell me about what they were writing at the moment. It was an incredible experience overall.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
The Hazel Tree combines the elements of a classic childhood fairytale with darkness and the struggle for freedom with elements taken from the original fable and ancient mythology – it’s badass.
New York cheesecake with blackberry & raspberry sauce poured delicately on top! Yummy. Or just good ol’ plain milk chocolate.
What book are reading now?
Love& Misadventures by Lang Leav and Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb. Love & Misadventures is poetry, and Witchstruck is about a witch in Tudor England. They are both great!
What’s your favorite season/weather?
I love those days in early spring when it is sunny but still a bit chilly outside. That, or the days in early fall where the sun still doesn’t set until 9pm at least, but it is cool enough to spend the whole day outside.
What was your favorite children's book?
Apart from Harry Potter, it would be Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. It was such an enchanting story, and so different from anything else I’d ever read. I still think about it often.
Beach or Pool?
Beach, because most of my childhood was spent living near a beach, whether it was California, South Carolina, or France. It has a unique sense of freedom that was magical to me as a child. Now in landlocked Tennessee, we go to the pool and it’s not the same. I miss the beach a lot.
What is one book everyone should read?
I think everyone should read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It isn’t a novel but I flew through it in just a few days. It makes you aware of the potential even the smallest decisions can have in the big picture of things. I can not only be applied to life in general but also to being a writer.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m working on a collection of short stories focusing on the different types of extraordinary relationships between humans in ordinary situations and how it correlates to their environment. I didn’t start writing them with that concept in mind, but that seems to be the reoccurring theme with them! I also just started writing my new novel Along Shiloh. I’ll have more details on that in a few months.
Four years later she found herself with nearly a dozen started novels and short stories. As junior in high school she was introduced to Greg Wilkey, a self-published independent author of four novels. He soon became a mentor to her as she worked to write and self-publish her own novel. After two years of hard work, and a nearly a year of mentorship The Hazel Tree was published in October 2013.
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