Book Tour & GIVEAWAY: ‘Playing Dead’ by Julia Heaberlin

Playing Dead

by Julia Heaberlin

Ballantine Books

Pub. Date:   May 29, 2012

Book received from: Publisher via TLC Book Tours


Genre:  Adult Contemporary fiction/Mystery

Cover:  Reflective of the story and beautiful

Characters:  Likable,  but could have had a bit more character-building

Worth the read?  Yes- quick and mysterious

Favorite quote:

“Not one of us who loved Mama ever saw the whole, but the piece I have of her is jagged and beautiful.  I can see the sun shining through it.”


Just days after her father’s death, Tommie McCloud receives a letter from a woman in Chicago claiming that Tommie is her daughter who was kidnapped as a baby.  This is only the beginning of unraveling decades of family secrets that have no clear answers.  As Tommie discovers that nothing is what it seems, and no one can be trusted, she must also find a way to grieve for her father and deal with her mother’s declining mental state.  A journey that takes Tommie from Texas to Chicago to Oklahoma, also becomes one of personal growth and awareness.  Unraveling the connections between a woman claiming to be her mother, her brother’s death years ago, the murder of a beauty queen in Oklahoma, a child’s severed finger, and all those she meets along the way, may be the undoing of her family- or may be the ties that bind.

Heaberlin delivers a mystery of dark family secrets, while also telling the story of one woman’s place amongst it all.  In an evenly-paced story, there is no doubt that the reader will find the overwhelming need to uncover the truth along with Tommie.  Just when you think you have it all figured out, another curve is thrown in and another path is taken.  This is a book that questions the connections in our lives, and makes us realize that everyone has something that may be best left uncovered.  In the end, you will wonder if the truth really will set Tommie free.

Playing Dead is a beautifully written debut that does not disappoint.  Although a bit over-detailed at times and a few places a bit far-reaching, the core of the story is nothing short of riveting and engrossing.  Heaberlin explores the choices we make in life in a different kind of way, especially those a mother makes in the name of protecting her children.  There is no way to put this one down until the end, because you will just simply have to know.


Ballantine Books has generously offered a copy of ‘Playing Dead’ for one lucky reader.  To be entered, simply comment below & tell me what is your favorite debut novel has been this year, with your e-mail address in the comment.   
Must be at least 17-years-old and live in the US/CAN.  I will pick a winner by random July 16, 2012.



Check out the entire blog tour calendar.

‘Playing Dead’ can be purchased at, as well as your local independent bookseller.

For more about Julia Heaberlin, go to her website here.


9 thoughts on “Book Tour & GIVEAWAY: ‘Playing Dead’ by Julia Heaberlin

  1. I don’t have a favorite debut novel yet. Out of the debut novels I’ve read this year, none have hit the ‘stir up my soul’ list yet. The year is only half over thought so I’m hoping that something will hit the list.

  2. Can you believe I havent read any debut’s yet this year??? Ack! I have to get on it!

    megnate at telus dot net

  3. I really liked Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. I have a bunch of other debut’s I need to read. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  4. Is it too late to enter the giveaway? I’m afraid that, although I read a lot, I’m very critical and don’t like more books than I like. The few books I’ve liked in 2012 have not been written by debut authors. But one book I thought was excellent was written by someone who I think had only one other book. The excellent book I read was “ONE MORE RIVER” by Mary Glickman.

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