From the International Bestselling Author of the Tempest Series...
Letters To Nowhere Series by Julie Cross
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Synopsis Book 1: Letters to Nowhere
Set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics...
I've gotten used to the dead parents face. I've gotten used to living with my gymnastics coach. I've even adjusted to sharing a bathroom with his way-too-hot son. Dealing with boys is not something that's made it onto my list of experiences as of yet. But here I am, doing it. And something about Jordan--being around him, talking to him, thinking about him--makes me feel like I can finally breathe again. That's something I haven't been able to do lately. He knows what it feels like to be me right now. He knows what it's like to wonder--what now? I think about it constantly. I need answers. I need to know how to get through this. In the gym, if you're struggling, you train harder, you do drills and conditioning. How do I work hard at moving on? At being on my own? And what happens if I might be...maybe...probably falling for Jordan? I mean we live together now. That can't happen, can it? But kissing him...well, let's just say it's not an easy activity to forget.
On sale for .99¢ on Amazon!
Synopsis Book 2: Return to Sender
If only summer could last forever…
Karen and Jordan might be out in the open with their relationship, but that doesn't make it any easier for them to face events looming in the future. Like Jordan leaving for college halfway across the country. Or Karen's win at a big international gymnastics competition setting the bar high for her future and adding pressure like she's never experienced before.
But when Nina Jones (aka-US Gymnastics Dictator), makes plans for Karen and teammate Stevie to train at a gymnastics camp for a month—the same camp where Jordan coaches—romantic summer interludes replace their fears of being apart. Both Jordan and Karen know that when fall comes, some very tough decisions will have to be made, but for now, it’s stolen kisses, racing hearts, and whispered words.
Synopsis Book 3: Return to You
Releasing December 15, 2013
How many dreams can you chase at once?
Even with bad boy, TJ, disrupting their morning workouts, Karen and Stevie’s daily battles with each other are sure to bring both of them closer to a national title at next month’s championships. It’s the kind of feud that creates winning results.
Until a fall from the uneven bars shakes Karen’s rock-solid confidence. Not only does she balk every time she so much as attempts a routine, she’s also facing all this without much support from Jordan. After receiving some bad news, Jordan’s reluctance to listen to reason causes Karen so much frustration she begins to avoid him, needing space to deal with her own issues. He needs someone to force him to make the right choice, he needs his dad to intervene and Karen knows this, but is torn between her loyalty to Jordan and her concern for her coach’s son. Even though both paths lead to the same person—Jordan—it feels like she’s choosing between two different people.
And then there’s the growing tension between TJ and Stevie. They’re obviously on the verge of either ripping each other’s heads off or ripping each other’s clothes off. It’s hard for either Jordan or Karen to tell where those two are headed. Tension is building from every possible outlet and there’s bound to be an explosion of some kind in the very near future.
TeaserJordan stepped closer, resting a hand on the red brick beside my head. “I’m gonna kiss you.”
My stomach jumped up towards my heart. “What?”
“I’m going to kiss you.” He had this serious, determined look on his face. “I mean, I won’t if you don’t want me to . . .”
I could feel my eyes widen as he leaned closer, my heart hammering faster, every other muscle in my body completely frozen. No words of protest were able to fall from my tongue before his mouth was on mine. My eyes drifted shut, my stomach doing a dozen floor routines beneath my rib cage.
5 Facts About Letters to Nowhere
- Since I started writing the book, I've envisioned my main character, Karen, as a red-headed McKayla Maroney even though I tried my best not to picture her as anyone specific.
- I've been around the world of competitive gymnastics for at least 15 years and therefore have depicted elite level gymnastics as true-to-life as possible in this book.
- The romance in LtN is not your typical "insta-love" or "fall in love then break up" format. This will please some and disappoint others.
- My main character, Karen, has just lost both her parents in a tragic car accident prior to the book's opening. However, I don't consider this a typical book about death either because there are so many other elements intertwined and Karen is a fighter, she's constantly driven by one goal or another. It's about rising up after a fall.
- LtN is truly the book of my heart because I wanted, for so long, to find a way to combine by two greatest passions - YA Literature and Gymnastics.
Julie Cross is the International Bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, and the final installment, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere (8/13), a mature young adult romance set in the world of elite gymnastics, as well as several forthcoming young adult and new adult novels with publishers like Entangled, Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, and St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books.
Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She's a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She's a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credibility's, Julie Cross is a committed--but not talented--long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict. You can find her online via twitter, her personal website, email, Facebook, Goodreads, or co-moderating the YAwriters section of reddit.
Do you have a favorite character from Letters to Nowhere? Why is he (or she) your favorite?
Karen, my main character, is my favorite to write mostly because I’ve wanted to write a book narrated from the point of view of an elite gymnast since my author journey first began. I absolutely love capturing that socially sheltered mindset and pairing it up with a level of maturity and discipline that most adults don’t have. That’s the essence of women’s elite gymnastics. Young girls carrying big loads of responsibility and self-awareness. They have it completely together, there’s always a plan for what’s next. With Karen, I gave her all of those qualities and then I pulled the rug out from under her by taking away her parents in a car accident before the book opens. Then: *Enter cute boy* whom she is forced to share a bathroom with. Who has a tragic past of his own. Who may be the only one that can help her heal.
Were you nervous when you decided to venture outside of your Sci-Fi series and write a contemporary novel? Did you have any reservations at first?
I wasn’t nervous to write the book, but I was super super nervous to tell people about it. Especially online to Tempest series fans. I honestly figured I’d finish the book so the characters would stop tormenting me inside my head, which I know it sounds a little schizophrenic, but it’s the truth and probably never publish it. And just hearing you say that it paid off means that it totally has. I’ve pleased at least one reader. Mission accomplished. Thanks so much for that J
Gymnastics is a huge part of this novel and your website says that you were a former gymnastics coach. How excited were you to combine your passions for writing and gymnastics into one project?
It was like Disney World, Universal Studios and a house right on the beach all packaged into one trip that didn’t even require packing or travel time. I enjoyed every phase of creating this story so much, I felt guilty calling it my job.
There are some pretty heartbreaking scenes in the book. Do you get extremely attached to your characters? If so, how do you feel when you have to write a scene that is going to be particularly hard on them?
Normally, I struggle with getting all the tension I need in a first draft because it becomes so difficult to put characters I love through all this emotional trauma. Often I have to step away from the story for a while and then I raise the stakes in the next draft. But with Letters to Nowhere, I had no problem shoving the characters into flaming fire after fire because I knew that in order for Karen (and also Jordan and Coach Bentley) to properly grieve and begin to heal, there was only one way to get past the fire—run straight through it. And the whole time I was writing this book, I knew Karen was a bomb waiting to go off. I knew she’d need to have that moment of realization about her future and what losing her parents really meant. And I wanted to get her there so I could see that she was okay.
What was the hardest part of writing Letters to Nowhere?
Nothing was really hard to write, but I worked the hardest at making the gymnastics element “user friendly” in the sense that I wanted this to be a book for the widest audience possible while still showing a true portrayal of the sport.
What was your favorite part?
The evolution of “Jaren” hands down. The relationship between Karen and Jordan is built in a way that I hadn’t done before in novel. Not exactly. I rarely do the insta-love thing but what they have is so much deeper than romantic love. Not to spoil anything in the book or future books in this world, but I truly believe that Jordan and Karen will always have a tie that can’t be severed no matter where their paths lead them. They could never hate each other. Many people look back on their first love and the relationship and drama often seem silly. It won’t be like that for these two. Their relationship will always represent a hugely important part of their lives.
1 ebook copy of Letters to Nowhere (Amazon only!)
International entries accepted
Ends 12/22/13 (Prize sent out after January 6, 2014)