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Available Now!

This must-have collector’s edition includes Ground Sweet as Sugar and The Virtues of Vice, the alternate-ending novella, Into the Complete Unknown, and Catherine C. Heywood’s research notes on “Building the World of Seven Stars.”

1797: After a century of clarifying oppression, Ireland seethes on the brink of rebellion. It waits on one violent tremor—the execution of a seventeen-year-old girl. All Charlotte Dillon wants is to escape. When she slips her fate, she discovers her future lies in the hands of James Blair, a sugar planter with deep ties to her enemies.


Bound to James for seven years, Charlotte must find a way to conceal her true identity and crime, even as they set sail for the West Indies, even as they confront the limits of their endurance, even as they fall in love. 


Meanwhile, an ocean away, a rebellion is unfolding and a mystery unraveling that threaten the tenderness growing between them. Through harrowing battles and the ache of longing, James and Charlotte must face devastating reckonings to finally know the sweetness they’ve earned.


Sweeping from Ireland’s bleeding battlefields to St. Croix’s burning sugarcane fields, Ground Sweet as Sugar: The Complete Story is the entire saga of power, punishment, and undying love.

Photo Credit: Jenny Loew



“Epic historical fiction at its best!”

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For Love of a Book

“History meets one brilliant imagination in this epic tale!”

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“The characters were in-depth and complex… There wasn’t a moment I was not in awe of their humanity and flaws.”

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Author A.R. Hadley

“A sweeping, epic, page-turning adventure that I could not put down.”

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MJ Loves to Read

“This entire story from start to finish held me captive.”

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“Compulsive... Vivid characters will remain with you long after you close the pages. Fabulous fiction threaded through history which has completely captured my curiosity. So richly written, feels like I’ve watched a movie rather than read a book.”

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Books, Tea, and Me

“Heywood, as always, provides a story that drags the reader into some wonderful escapism, romance, and high drama.”

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“I didn’t want the story to end.” 


“Why do you cling to the old ways?” For the planter, he can’t say why this should astonish him or why he feels so compelled to understand this about Charlotte, only that he does.


“Perhaps they endure because they are true,” she replies.


“And perhaps they act as a refuge so that you don’t have to face the circumstances before you.”


“How dare you?” 


“I only meant to suggest you would do well to consider facing the present, however difficult it may be.”


Charlotte’s coloring grows mottled in fury. “You know nothing about what I’ve faced. Nothing. Yet how blithe you are, how helpful you are with your suggestion. Might I suggest that you would do well to consider those who have no voice in matters of politics and religion.”


James chortles. “I care not about politics or religion.”


Charlotte’s eyes dance in their anger as she grits her teeth and clenches her fists. Though she was glad to abandon her father’s ideals when he abandoned her, she cannot ignore their essential truth—that James and people like him hold all the power. Of course, they have the luxury of not caring. She fights desperately with the flood cresting on her tongue, trying to avoid saying something she’ll surely regret. Yet in the end, the words trip off her tongue too easily.


“Well, you should care, Master Blair. You should. Because it’s threatening to upend your world, and tucked away here amidst your tidy little cane pieces, you’ll be the last one to know.” She turns to leave.


“What did you just say to me?”


“You heard me.”

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