Six books, published by Red Fox (Random House) 2010-2012. The Sweet Hearts series is perfect for fans of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson! Realistic stories about girls with real interests and friends and real-life situations, Sweet Hearts deals with familiar issues whilst offering a rose-tinted first romance alongside.
STAR CROSSED: Fliss is shy and nervous but comes alive on stage. Her mother, who has brought her up single-handedly, doesn’t think the stage is a stable career, but Fliss can’t help the way she feels. She’s over the moon to discover she’s landed the lead in Romeo and Juliet, but how can she manage her secret crush on Tom, who’s playing Romeo? Even worse, will the spiteful Samantha steal her part and her potential boyfriend away from her? Luckily for Fliss, she has good friends in Mari and Victoria, who’ll never let her down.
STRICTLY FRIENDS?: Megan is devastated at having to move house, 200 miles away from the only home she’s ever known. Plus, she’s also missing her best friend and dance partner Jake. She joins a local salsa class, which isn’t the standard she’s used to, but Megan unexpectedly makes some really good new friends, including the irrepressible Mari. A chance encounter with bad boy Danny sets her pulse racing – but will he sweep her off her feet or knock her confidence?
FORGET ME NOT: Kate is still grieving for her mother, who died three years ago. Living with her dad and her grandfather, she loves gardening and being outside, and is finally persauded by Megan to go for a summer job at the local garden centre. But Simon, another temporary member of staff, is less than friendly. Is he as stuck up as she thinks, or is he just shy? Or is he possibly hiding a terrible secret? Because when the garden centre is vandalised, not everything is as it seems…
ICE DREAMS: Tania is a top-quality young ice skater. But witnessing a bad fall has shaken her confidence. What if the same thing happens to her? Her coach, Brock, is worried – and so he makes Tania start skating with a partner to boost her confidence. Zac throws himself into everything, but Tania finds him alarming! Her boy-mad friend Libby thinks Zac’s gorgeous, but all Tania can think about is the danger she’s in. Can she get over her nerves to perform their routine? And will she allow the ice queen inside her to thaw a little…?
MODEL BEHAVIOUR (shortlisted for the Young Adult Romantic Novel of the Year Award): Lola is a blonde bombshell and has two gorgeous sisters. Together, her family lives in a big footballers’-style mansion, with a gold bathroom and a swimming pool in the basement. But Lola is a bit disorganised and when she discovers she’s missed her chance to do work experience at a top fashion house, she’s gutted. Her school finds her a last-minute placement at the local animal sanctuary, along with her best friend Naiha. The girls are totally unimpressed by the shabby and freezing conditions. But Lola starts to realise that perhaps there’s more to life than nail varnish and spray tans – and then there’s Harry, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks who can tame the wildest dog. When Naiha walks out in disgust, Lola has to make a decision about the sort of person she wants to be.
DEEP WATER: Pearl is beyond thrilled when she’s selected for the Olympic synchronised swimming team. But on that very day, her biggest supporter – her father – walks out on the family. Pearl can’t believe he’s let her down so badly, but her ambition and determination will see her through to the Olympics. Bailey, a young journalist, interviews her for a youth magazine, and suddenly there’s more to life than training and the pool. But is there really time for a boyfriend? Especially when Pearl’s mum starts seeing a new man, and Pearl really doesn’t like him…
34 thoughts on “Sweet Hearts series”
Hi 🙂 I love your book Strictly Friends and I read at the back that there is a bonus page online, only the website no longer seems to work! Where can I go to find it? thanks in advance
Hi Danielle! Aww, I’m so glad you like Strictly Friends! The publisher is in the process of transferring all the Sweet Hearts website content onto this one, so things are a bit…er…not actually working at the moment!
HowEVER, I’ve found the text that I wrote to go on that bonus page – and so, just for you, here’s the bonus page for Strictly Friends. Hope you like it! 🙂 Jo x
Do you remember the very first time you did something? I remember the very first time I went to a dance class. It was held at my school – a sort of ‘try before you buy’ thing – with a teacher from a nearby dance school. I was dying to go. I’d been to see a musical at the Milton theatre and there were some children from the local dance school taking part. They had such amazing costumes! And the girls all had their hair up with little crowns on their heads and I just thought, I want to do that. (I know, typical little girl! I should add at this time I also thought that ‘princess’ was something you could do when you grew up.)
This beautiful teacher stood at the front and told us her name was Laney and she was a dancer. She had a long skirt on and shiny silver shoes. I immediately wanted shoes like that, but I had to make do with my black plimsolls which squeaked on the floor. She told us that this was more of a trying-out class and we shouldn’t worry if we couldn’t do some of the steps.
But I could. I don’t know how. I just watched what Laney did and then I did it too. Most of the other children were having trouble. Their feet kept getting tangled up or they were turning round the wrong way. Not me – it was like my feet just knew exactly what to do. And it felt BRILLIANT.
Up until then, I hadn’t really shone at anything. I was an average child: I knew it and my parents knew it. Even at six, you know instinctively which are the clever pupils and which are the stupid ones in your class. I was bang in the middle. Not clever, not stupid, just average. And I hadn’t really minded that. But this…as soon as I started to dance, I knew this was something I could really do, better than most other people. And it gave me this immense feeling, like there was an inflating balloon inside me, making me feel twice as tall and twice as proud of myself.
Laney noticed too, and I knew she had seen that I was better than the rest of the kids. At the end, she came over and asked if I had done any dancing before and I said no. And she said maybe I should start coming to her classes because I was obviously quick to pick up steps and had I enjoyed it? And I didn’t know what to say because how do you describe enjoyment in such enormous terms? So I just smiled and nodded.
And that was that. I was hooked. I went to dance class every single week, even when I was ill. I would be off school with tonsillitis but would beg my mum to let me go to dancing. One time I was due to perform in a show and I was running a temperature of 102ºF. But I knew I couldn’t let the others down – especially not Jake, my partner. So I performed in the show and then went straight home to bed and more paracetamol.
I don’t think I want to be a dancer when I leave school. As time has gone by, I’ve realised that although I love it and I’m good at it, I’m probably not as good as you need to be to reach the top. Jake and I always had too much fun dancing together. We took it seriously but not too seriously, if you know what I mean. We did sometimes mess around in Laney’s class which made her a bit cross. And we never practised as much as we should.
But dancing will always be part of my life and I still feel exactly the same as I did all those years ago at that very first dance class. It’s like – magic.
I read a libray of lemons I loved it
I love your book Star Crossed it’s my favourite I love Shakespeare and I love acting I’m hoping to go to acting school when I’m old enough I think I can relate to floss as well, I’ve had similar experiences with boys and drama. Your one of my favourite writers and I would like to read more of your books xx
Hi Kate! Aww, I’m so glad you like Star Crossed. I used to be an actress and it’s an amazing job to have! Drama school is a great place to go – really tough, but excellent grounding for the real world of acting. There are five more books in the Sweet Hearts series, and although Fliss isn’t the main character in any of the others, she does pop up every now and then! Thanks for writing to me 🙂 x
Hi I was wondering where the page fir tania Dunn in ice dreams is and how can I be like her I want to have her qualities
Hi Ayesha! I’m afraid the Sweet Hearts website no longer exists, but I *think* I still have all those bonus pages I wrote for the site…will see if I can find them and then upload them to this one! As for being like Tania – well, she’s stubborn, ambitious and willing to try new things (even when they scare her!). I think being brave and facing your fears is the hardest sometimes: we’re all frightened of the unknown. But sometimes knowing you’ve got someone there by your side (like a best friend, or like Tania has Zac) can make you much braver than you would be alone. Good luck!
Hi again Ayesha! Would you believe that of all the secret extra pages I wrote for the books, the one for Ice Dreams is the only one missing! Argh! I don’t know why – will keep searching my computer for it. In the meantime, you can find all the other extras at this new page: https://jocotterill.com/sweet-hearts-for-9-13s/bonus-pages/ Jo x
Hello! I just finished Star Crossed and I’m absolutely in love with it as I was with Ice Dreams (got it a long time ago). Was excited to see that there was a bonus page for me to read but then disappointed when there was none 😦 I hope you find time to upload those bonus pages though! I look forward to it.
Hi Eliza! You can now find LOADS of bonus stuff (including the secret bonus pages!) at https://jocotterill.com/sweet-hearts-for-9-13s/bonus-pages/ – have fun 🙂 Jo x
I LOVE Model Behaviour! Harry sounds soooooooooooooooooo cute!!!!!!! I also love Deep Water 🙂
Hi CrazyClara, how did I miss your message?! Soooo sorry! I’m so glad you love Model Behaviour, it’s my favourite of the series! I liked writing Harry too 🙂
Hi.Where can i get your books as ebooks?No sites seem to have them!
Hi Imaan, I’m currently in the process of getting all the rights back to the books, as the publisher has let them go out of print! As soon as I have them, I am likely to be re-publishing them and putting them out as digital books too. Sorry you have to wait! In the meantime, I do have a handful of print copies here if you wanted to order one from me directly – but at the moment, they’re not available digitally 😦 x
Oh ok.Thanks though!
I have spend days trying to remember these books! You know when you remember something and you can’t stop until you find it? That has been me for 2 days straight. I remember ordering Ice Dreams from a Scholastic book catalogue when I saw it at my book fair way back in 2012 and getting it for Christmas, I didn’t put it down! After that I forced my mum to buy me the rest of the series and read all of them within about six months! I even remember reading Forget Me Not whilst I was in South Africa!! Anyway, your books are just so nostalgic to me and so lovely to read. I gave all of my copies away to my School Library and I really regret it now, reading through the samples on iBooks is really taking me back! Nine year old me fell in love with Lola and her character, I think she was the one that got me into labels!! I love the message in the books of how if you want something take it and no one can intimidate you into backing down. I hope I find these books one day and can get my daughters to read them! Thank you.
Hi Poppy – oh, how lovely! Thank you for such a kind message. The books are all out of print now, though I do have some copies at home to sell. However, they’re all still available as ebooks for the moment! Lola is my favourite of the six too – Model Behaviour was the most fun to write! I loved making up Lola’s family and their amazing house with the swimming pool in the basement! Best wishes, Jo x
Dear Jo, I am writing on behalf of my daughter Elly-May aged 11 from New Zealand. We have just returned from a visit to the UK where we came across one of your books in this series “Strictly Friends?”. Elly absolutely loved it and read it in record time. I was thrilled she had found a book and author she really enjoyed. However as you state above I was disappointed they are out of print and was wondering do you still have any copies for sale at all? Thanks for your time and consideration. Have a great day. Verity
Hi Verity, yes I do – though postage to NZ might work out v expensive! If you email me direct on firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll dig out what I have and let you know how much it might cost. I’m so glad Elly-May enjoyed Strictly Friends 🙂 Please say hi to her for me! Jo x
I love your book Strictly Friends, my little sister loves it too! I’ve read it to her many times and she still loves it. I’ve looked all over for your other books and I can’t seem to find them so I can read them to her. We have managed to finish to the book for the 3rd time and she wants me to read it again. Thank you for writing such an amazing book
Livi and Lacey-mae ❤️
Hi Livi, unfortunately the rest of the books aren’t in print any more 😦 If you have a way of reading them digitally, the ebooks ARE available. If you’re desperate for print copies, I do have a handful at home that I can sell. Email me on email@example.com if you’re interested 🙂 And say hi to Lacey-Mae for me! I’m so glad you enjoy Strictly Friends 😀 Jo x (PS in my book A Library of Lemons I have a character called Mae!)
I think I will read sticky friends I don’t know a where to read online
Hi Lola, I’m afraid Strictly Friends? isn’t available as an ebook any more because it has gone out of print so the publisher no longer has the rights. I hope before too long to make it available digitally myself 🙂
I borrowed Star crossed and Strictly friends from the library and I am dying to own the whole collection!!!!!
Hello Sivanaja! Aww, that’s so lovely to hear; I’m really glad you’re enjoying them 🙂 Jo x
This post was made ages ago but I just wanted to say how much I love Ice Dreams. It was probably about 5 years ago that I picked it up in the library and the first time I read it I fell in love. I love the characters, the storyline and it became my favourite book and still is. I re read it a few times but I moved house and I couldn’t find it in the library again. I looked online to try and find a copy because I need to own it but they aren’t really available and I’m dying to read it since I haven’t in forever. I doubt you’ll read this but I wanted to thank you, for writing an amazing book and series 🙂
hi Lara, how VERY lovely of you to message me about Ice Dreams! Aww, that’s so amazing that it’s your favourite book! I have a handful of copies here, all that’s left I suspect. If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’m sure I can get one to you 🙂 Jo x
I first found your book in a magazine. The first one I read was ‘star crossed’. I was aboout 12 and thought I was in love with tom. I hunted down the other books and read them. I loved them. Just passed them onto my little cousin. 17 year old me just finished reading ‘star crossed ‘ for about the tenth time and I still love it. Its battered and bruised but great. You, cathy cassidy and melissa j. Morgan were my fave childhood authors and made me want to become a writer. Unfortunately I dont have much time for writing but you are one of the reasons I enjoyed reading so much when I was younger. I just wanted to say Thank you.
Hi Fathia – Oh my, you’ve made my DAY 🙂 seriously. I know exactly which magazine it was too – it was Top of the Pops, and it was a special print run of over 100k copies and this is absolute PROOF that it was worth it because you went and found the other books!! It’s definitely fine to be in love with Tom – I was a little bit too when writing it! (But my favourite boy of the whole series is Harry in Model Behaviour.) Thank you so much for writing to me. That series went out of print far more quickly than I hoped, and it’s readers like you who made it all worth it. Jo xxx
we need star crossed, deep water and model behaviour. we will pay anything.
Hello! I’m so sorry I missed this message! If you email me at email@example.com I’m sure we can sort something out. I have loads of Star Crossed and I think I have Deep Water, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have any Model Behaviours left. Email me and we’ll talk! Jo x
I just read ‘Strictly Friends?’ and I loved it a lot and I’m getting impatient to read the other books in this amazing series but I was a bit confused on the last few sentences in the book. I would love to know what happened then.
Hi Sana, I’m SO sorry it’s taken me to long to reply to you! Jake’s last words to Megan about needing to tell her something…well, he’s going to tell her he loves her! It’s a very romantic moment, but neither of them has been able to express their true feelings before then. So I left the readers to imagine the next few minutes for themselves! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book 🙂 Jo x