I’m excited to announce that I’ve signed a contract for my next novel, GRAVITY, a standalone book that will take readers (and me) beyond the world of the Crossfire Trilogy. It is a coming of age story that leaves coming out in the dust. Ellie Engebretsen, my main character, is tough, fearless, and at peace with her sexuality. Which does not mean life is smooth sailing, especially when she’s 150 meters above the ground—hurtling off a ski jump and in love with her biggest competition…
Here’s the blurb:
A shot at the gold in ski jumping. It’s been a dream that was the exclusive property of male Olympic athletes.
For seventeen-year-old Ellie Engebretsen, the 2011 decision to include women’s ski jumping in the Olympics is a game changer. She’d love to bring home the gold for her father, a former Olympic hopeful whose dreams were blown along with his knee on an ill-timed landing. But can she defy the pull of gravity that draws her to Kate Moreau, her biggest competition and the girl of her dreams?
How can Ellie soar through the air when all she feels like doing is falling hard?
And here’s the awesome cover!
I’ve been having the best time writing this book and can’t wait to share it with you! There will be loads of more details to come, including the exact date of release, but for now let me leave you with a tiny snippet from the book:
The run splits. To the right a steep drop tempts me, but I need air, high and fresh and full of freedom. I shift my weight to the left and aim straight for the quarter-pipe jump. My repertoire plays through my mind as I cut through the swarm of snowboarders. A flatspin, an ally oop, a twister? As usual, my body makes the decision for me. A Lincoln loop it is.
Ahead of me a girl in a powder blue jacket and skis that were antiques ten years ago moves toward the jump, and I yield the right of way. She’s out of place on Freefall where the best of the best, as far as the Midwest ski scene goes (such as it is), can be found. But every now and then a newbie in second hand equipment gets lost and stumbles onto a black diamond slope. It never ends well.
“Oh shit,” I say, my boots biting into my calves as I slow to a near stop. She takes the jump, full speed, and I cringe, but then she is somersaulting through the air like she exists beyond the rules of gravity. She sticks a perfect landing, and I forget how to breathe.
“That’s what I’m talking about!” The girl fist pumps the air and whoops for joy, and then I am moving, burying my poles in my arm pits and crouching low for maximum speed. The quarter-pipe rushes me and I feel it, the moment when my muscles take over. Wind slaps me across the face. My stomach presses against my spine. The sky tilts and then—
I hear the call to surrender.
It sounds easy, but it’s the scariest fucking thing in the world, giving into the empty space between earth and sky where outcomes can be sabotaged by the slightest passing breeze.
The quarter-pipe jump falls away as I soar into the unknown, tucking and grabbing my knees as the momentum I’ve created raises my legs while my head plunges toward the ice-packed earth below. And yeah, it’s a total high.
From GRAVITY, forthcoming with Bold Strokes Books in 2016!
(Excerpt is the intellectual property of Juliann Rich. All rights reserved)