Letters To Nowhere by Julie Cross
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Mature Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: August 1st 2013
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Her family may be shattered, but her dreams aren't...
From the International Bestselling Author of the Tempest series A Mature YA contemporary set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics. Grief, love and pursuing dreams are at the forefront of this emotionally powerful coming-of-age story.
Seventeen year old Karen Campbell has just lost both her parents in a tragic car accident. Grief stricken and alone, her gymnastics coach opens his home to Karen, providing her a place to live while she continues to train, working toward a spot on the world championship team.
Coach Bentley’s only child, seventeen year old Jordan is good-looking and charming enough to scare away a girl like Karen—someone who has spent ten times more hours on balance beams and uneven bars than talking or even thinking about boys. But the two teens share a special connection almost immediately. It turns out Jordan has a tragic past of his own, grief buried for years.
As Karen’s gymnastics career soars, her nightmares and visions of the horrible accident grow in strength. She can only avoid facing her grief for so long before it begins to surface and ultimately spin out of control in a very dangerous way. Can discovering love and lust (simultaneously) help with the grieving process or will it only provide a temporary distraction while waiting for reality to hit full force.
“Just don’t tell your dad,” I pleaded with him, wiping my nose on my sleeve.
“Don’t tell him that your pink leotard is now purple?” he asked tentatively. “Or that your balance beam routine would score higher than your laundry skills?”
I balled the leotard up in one hand and wiped the tears from my cheeks with the back of my other hand. “Don’t tell him I cried about something stupid. Or anything for that matter. The last thing he needs is some emotionally distressed teenage girl to deal with twenty-four seven.”
Oh God did I just say that out loud?
Jordan stared at me for a long moment and then flipped an empty bucket over, sitting on it and blocking the door. “You can say it, you know? It won’t freak me out.”
Now it was my turn to be utterly confused. “Say what?”
His eyes locked with mine and I could feel the tension building. “Your parents are dead.”
I held my breath for a few seconds, waiting to feel that awful punch in the gut I’d anticipated. But it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it’d be. “My parents are dead.”
He nodded. “That sucks.”
I felt a few more tears trickle out, but I was too distracted by the conversation to wipe them away. “Yeah, it totally sucks. Today, even more so than other days.”
Jordan tugged at the leotard in my hand, freeing it from my grip and holding it up like a question.
“My mom got it for me for my birthday.”
“Before she died,” he finished.
“Before she died,” I repeated and then said the worst part over again, “because my parents are dead.”
“Say it one more time,” Jordan said. “It will get a little easier tomorrow and then we don’t have to tap-dance around the great big elephant in the room.”
“My parents are dead,” I said again and for some reason I started laughing. More like crying and laughing at the same time.
I live in central Illinois with my wonderful husband and three kids currently between the ages of 7 and 12 (the kids not the husband). My writing journey began in May, 2009 with a short story in a notebook.
Within a year, I had written seven (some good some God-awful) young adult novels. Not being a college graduate and having spent the previous fifteen years teaching gymnastics and working as a YMCA Program Director for Recreational Gymnastics, professional writing wasn't in my plans. Not even close. But ever since the day I started that short story, I haven't been able to stop. It was love at first sight.
After about a year of writing, I had a three book deal with St. Martin's Press, and a film option with Summit Entertainment. Crazy, right? I know. It wasn't until August of 2011 that I quit working full time in order to be at home with my kids more and of course, write more. My young adult time travel debut novel, Tempest, released on January 17, 2012. The rest of my personal story remains unwritten.