Dec 7, 2016

Blog Tour - Gravity

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Gravity
Author: Juliann Rich
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Tour Host: RABT Book Tours

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Synopsis:

Sometimes you fly. Sometimes you fall.

A dream at Olympic gold in ski jumping. It’s a dream that’s been the exclusive property of male Olympic athletes.

Until now.

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 knees 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?


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Excerpt

      When the sparkling white starts to spin away, I spot Kate’s face hovering above me and I pray to die right there at the foot of the quarter-pipe jump on Mogen.
      “Oh my God, are you okay?” Kate asks.
      I lie in the me-shaped indentation of snow, wriggling toes and bending wrists and trying to suck in air through lungs that have betrayed me as well. “Yeah, I think so.”
      Kate grabs my hand. “Let me help you up.” She pulls me into a one-legged perch. I look for my other ski and spot it a few feet away, skewering a mogul. A sharp pain hits like a punch to the gut. I double over and grab my side. First Blair and now this—boffing a jump that on any other day would have been my bitch. The world wobbles again.
      “Hey.” Kate reaches out an arm and I grasp it like a kid in SkiWee holding onto the T-bar for dear life. “You sure you’re okay?”
      The pain begins to subside until I can straighten and look into her eyes. “Yeah, I’m fine. Sorry.”
      Her eyes crinkle at the corners. “For what? Falling? It happens.” Kate yanks her hat off and a mop of wavy auburn hair tumbles around her face.
      “Thanks for picking me up.” Jesus! Did I say that? “From the ground, I mean. From the ground. You know, where you found me and…picked me up.”
      Kate laughs and I realize maybe Jack was right. She usually is when it comes to girls. Jack is my butch best friend whose real name is Lisa Marie, but she’ll kick you in the balls if you call her that. Doesn’t matter whether you have balls or not. She earned the nickname Jack when she came out, all at once and without giving a shit. Like that kid’s toy, the one with the clown that couldn’t take the pressure anymore and had to pop out of the damned box. That’s Jack. Happy to be out, but always looking for the next box to pop into. Which, according to Jack, is precisely what I need to do to get over Blair.
      Step one: Get a little tourist pussy. The sooner, the better.
      Jack’s words, not mine, and even though Jack can be crude, she’s also brilliant as hell. She’s got it all planned out—how I can get over my cheating girlfriend. She even named her master plan The Blair Bitch Project, but so far I’ve yet to find a tourist willing to sign up for some meaningless, heartbreak-erasing revenge sex. Still, Jack’s plan is devious in a way that makes me sad she and I have zero chemistry, because I sure as hell love how her mind works. I steal another glance at Kate. There’s a sexy little glint in her eyes and a half smile on her face that could be interpreted as flirty. As Jack would say, no time like the present to get down with The Blair Bitch Project.
      “How about I buy you a cocoa as a thank you?” Heat surges on my face until I’m certain I look like a friggin’ stop sign. Round and red and telling Kate to stop, to not cross this lane.
      Talk about a contradiction.
      “I don’t think so,” Kate says and my stomach tightens. “But you could buy me a burger and fries to go with that cocoa.”
      “You got it.”
      Kate looks down the hill at my ski sticking out of the mogul. “Be right back.” She skis over and yanks out my ski, then side steps her way back up Mogen. She drops the ski in front of me and I step into the binding. “You’re lucky. You could have really hurt yourself.”
      It’s subtle, but it’s there. Kate’s assumption that I couldn’t handle the quarter-pipe jump, and it stings. So much I almost tell her I followed her down Freefall. That it was easy! That I’m Eleanor Engebretsen, the Eleanor Engebretsen, for crying out loud, and that I’m only off balance because my ex-girlfriend sent the wrong lover a text. But instinct tells me to shut the fuck up, so I do.
      Kate surveys the slope and shakes her head. “We’re going to take it slow and skip the rest of the jumps. If you get in trouble, for God’s sake, sit your ass down and yell for help. Got it?”
      “Yeah.” My ego takes a hit, but my libido surges. “I got it.”
      “Okay, then. Follow me.” And she’s off.
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About The Author

Minnesota writer Juliann Rich spent her childhood in search of the perfect climbing tree. The taller, the better! A branch thirty feet off the ground and surrounded by leaves, caterpillars, birds, and squirrels was a good perch for a young girl to find herself. Seeking truth in nature and finding a unique point of view remain crucial elements in her life as well as her writing.

Juliann is the author of four young adult novels: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE, SEARCHING FOR GRACE, TAKING THE STAND, and GRAVITY (forthcoming in November, 2016). She writes character-driven books about young adults who are bound to discover their true selves and the courage to create an authentic life…if the journey doesn’t break them.

Juliann is the 2014 recipient of the Emerging Writer Award from The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival and lives with her husband and an adorable but naughty dachshund named Bella in a 1920’s brownstone she is lovingly restoring to its original beauty.


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