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Exclusive Interview: Author Julie Cross on Drama and Deception in HIDING LIES

Julie Cross talks about what’s next for Eleanor Ames in HIDING LIES!

High school student Eleanor Ames has disavowed her upbringing as a grifter and con artist, but she’s had quite the year since she decided to “start fresh.”

In Julie Cross‘s Chasing Truth, Eleanor’s only friend dies under suspicious circumstances. While everyone assumes it’s a tragic suicide, Ellie expects much more and goes on the hunt, colliding with Miles, a very attractive classmate with secrets and skills all his own, and together they discovered the horrific truth.

Now Ellie and Miles are back in Hiding Lies, which follows Eleanor as her past comes back to haunt her. Ellie is on a dangerous new mission and she needs to keep it a secret from everyone, including Miles.

We chatted with Julie Cross about crafting the sequel, Ellie’s past coming back to bite her, her relationship with Miles, and more! Check it out below.


How have things changed for Eleanor Ames in the time since she discovered the truth behind Simon’s death and took down the perpetrators?

Not a whole lot of time has passed for Ellie, from the end of book one to book two’s opening only about a month. But she’s growing more and more anxious about Miles returning to his own school hours away and the possibility of the “bad guys” growing a new arm that hasn’t been taken down yet and coming after her. She definitely has a “calm before the storm” outlook on things.

Chasing Truth talked about Eleanor’s past as a con artist, but didn’t focus in on it. Can we expect to discover a lot more about her as the sequel links back to her past?

Yes! You might even meet members of her family in this sequel. Maybe…

How does this blast from the past affect her relationships in the present, particularly with her super-spy-in-training boyfriend Miles?

Well, Miles is definitely not into Ellie’s conning family. It is for sure a test of his trust in her as an individual.

Dominic plays a more crucial role this time around! How would you describe his relationship with Ellie?

Dominic has had some time to think about the events that happened a month earlier and even farther back to the role he played in covering up details about Simon’s death. He’s really matured and after seeing Ellie and Miles in action, Dominic isn’t interested in being a passive character in this next chapter. He wants to do something, he’s not as practiced as the other two and that worries Ellie a lot and they bicker about it quite a bit. Ellie would certainly prefer to handle things without Dominic tagging along but when he does, she’s got to shift gears and learn to trust him and help him get better at what she’s great at–lying.

In your opinion, what is it that makes stealthy characters like spies and con artists such a thrill to read?

I’m definitely drawn to the spy characters, I think because they’re so active and they do things and do things and as a reader it’s often up to you to untangle why. They’re the type of people who don’t run into a battle shielding everyone, they figure out how to trick the opposition, sneak around the battlefield and come out on the other side unscathed. Anyone like that has some pretty interesting flaws to uncover.

What are some of your favorite books and movies featuring spies and con artists?

Definitely Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girl and Heist Society series. The Bourne Identity movies, a TV show from years ago called The Riches.

What’s your writing process like?

I tend to draft quick and sloppy. Mostly just to figure out what I’m even getting at with the story. Then in revisions I shape and mold the story to something tighter and more clear. The characters and their motivations also become clear by the end of the first draft so I often go back and look at the early parts of the book and align those with the ending.

Hiding Lies is out now. You can snag a copy via…

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo | Entangled Publishing


At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a way of coming to the surface.

Eleanor Ames has never been what she seems. Average high school student on the outside, but reformed con artist trying to break free of her past on the inside. When Eleanor receives startling news about someone from her previous criminal life, plans for a new operation coinciding with her school’s upcoming field trip quickly consume her.

But operations rarely go according to plan. And this is one her irresistible teen FBI agent boyfriend, Miles, would never approve of.

Now, more than just Ellie’s reputation is at stake. If she fails, it could be her life.


Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes TempestVortex, and Timestorm(St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at YouThird DegreeHalfway PerfectChasing TruthOff the Ice and many more to come! Julie Cross was a longtime resident of central Illinois but has recently moved her entire family across the country to continue her academic studies at Stanford University.

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By Kait

Kait is a New Englander, a YA book and adaptation lover, and a Slythindor, as well as a red velvet and red wine enthusiast. She likes to like things. Catch her on Twitter: @kaitmary

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