Announcing: Sinful Folk – by Ned Hayes, illustrated by New York Times bestseller Nikki McClure

November 2013 —

SINFUL FOLK is the new historical novel from Ned Hayes, with cover and internal illustrations by New York Times bestselling illustrator and author Nikki McClure. Like Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent and Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonders, SINFUL FOLK retells history from the perspective of a forgotten woman who finds her voice. An inspiring story of tenacity, perseverance and courage, SINFUL FOLK is based on real historical events.

In December of the year 1377, five children burned to death in a suspicious house fire. The historical record shows that a small band of villagers traveled 200 miles across England in midwinter to demand justice for their children’s deaths. Two hundred miles. In that time, an unimaginable distance for villagers who lived their entire lives only a few miles from their birthplace.

SINFUL FOLK is the story of this treacherous journey as seen by Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute and fearful man, raising her son quietly in this isolated village. When her son is killed, Mear wakes from her complacent life and undertakes a desperate journey. The villagers travel across a harsh and unforgiving winter landscape. Propelled forward by a vision of justice, the villagers persevere in the face of bandit raids, ecclesiastical execution orders, starvation, kidnapping, and dissension in their own ranks.

The chief danger lies in their midst: Mear soon discovers that one of her fellow travelers lit the fire that burned the children for his own nefarious ends. Mear must not only uncover the murderer, but also stay alive long enough to reach London, where she can seek the king’s justice. In the course of this pilgrimage, Mear finds old enemies, forgotten friends and hidden strengths. Mear’s long-hidden intelligence and authority gradually come to the forefront as her gender, her articulate insight and her lineage are unveiled—first to her fellow villagers and then to the world, as she enters the Star Chamber and, in the end, presents her case before the king’s court. SINFUL FOLK begins in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and redemption.

Endorsed by bestselling historical novelists such as Karen Maitland (The Owl Killers, Company of Liars), Ella March Chase (The Virgin Queen’s Daughter), Brenda Vantrease (The Illuminator, The Heretic’s Wife), and William Dietrich (The Barbed Crown), SINFUL FOLK is a breakthrough novel that stakes a new claim for women’s historical fiction. SINFUL FOLK is an inspiring story of a woman’s perseverance and courage in a stark medieval world: a riveting and suspenseful story told with lyrical beauty and unwavering vision. “Every reader will come to love the brave and intrepid Mear.” —award-winning author Jim Heynen (The Fall of Alice K.)

Available January 2014 from Campanile Books


To schedule Ned Hayes for appearances or readings, contact

Linda Marus, Publicity Manager


Author: Linda Marus

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