Readers of Before Goodbye who asked about Cate’s songs, this is for you!
Hopefully she’ll be posting more music soon…
Finally posting the big news on my own blog—my debut novel BEFORE GOODBYE is coming out New Year’s Day!
BEFORE GOODBYE is a Kindle First pick, which means if you have a Kindle, you can read the book now before its official release on 1/1/16 when it will be available across all formats.
Below, I’ve pasted what my publisher has to say about the book, but there are a few spoilers. If it’s enough for you to know that BEFORE GOODBYE is about musicians, read no further!
As a novelist, Cross channels the same raw passion and intensity to tell the story of Cate, a young guitarist coping with hurt, confusion, and heartbreak.
Music means more than anything to high school student Cate Reese; it’s also what unites her with Cal Woods. Devoted classical guitar players, Cate and Cal are childhood friends newly smitten by love—until a devastating car accident rips Cal out of Cate’s life forever. Blaming herself for the horrific tragedy and struggling to surface from her despair, Cate spirals downhill in a desperate attempt to ease her pain.
Fellow student David Bennet might look like the school’s golden boy, but underneath the surface the popular athlete battles demons of his own. Racked with survivor’s guilt after his brother’s suicide, things get worse when tragedy darkens his world again—but connecting with Cate, his sister’s longtime babysitter, starts bringing the light back in. As Cate and David grow closer, the two shattered teenagers learn to examine the pieces of their lives . . . and, together, find a way to be whole again.
Beautifully written and emotionally resonant, BEFORE GOODBYE is a mesmerizing debut that reminds readers that you can find hope in times of tragedy—and harmony in times of discord.
For all of you who came to the blog looking for music, you might appreciate how my editor feels about the novel. Warning: the following contains spoilers. But it’s really beautiful :)
Reading Before Goodbye for the first time felt very much like listening to my favorite symphony (Beethoven’s Sixth, for the record)—the highs, the lows, the beauty, and the tragedy that coexist within the music. The story starts on a high with Cate, a young woman who is at the top of her artistic game, in love with classical guitar, and also a little bit in love with her childhood friend Cal, fellow guitarist and creative muse. When disaster strikes, Cate is thrown off the path she’d always imagined for her life and forced to find a new one. How do you pick up the pieces of your heart and move on when you can’t find a reason to? Cate discovers help where she least expects it and must rely on her guitar to learn to love again.
Author Mimi Cross pulls from her real-life experiences in writing this very personal story, and her voice echoes on every page. A lifetime performer and music educator, Cross understands what it means to lose yourself in a song, to be lifted away on a stream of melody, to let music carry you through tragedy. Cross has communicated through her music for years. In Before Goodbye, she shares that music in the written word through Cate, and it is just as affecting and heart wrenching as you’d imagine.
When I finished reading Before Goodbye, I let out the breath I seemed to have been holding for four hundred pages. This book is a journey, tense but riveting, tragic yet hopeful, and when it’s over, I hope you experience the same feeling I did: that overwhelming peace that comes when you’ve just listened to a piece of music that touches your soul.
– Miriam Juskowicz, Editor
I hope everyone who reads the book loves it as much as Miriam does. If you read it, I hope you’ll let me know what you think.
It’s been a busy year or two, with all the writing, which is why I haven’t posted much music here on Sirenstories. Also, there’s a problem with some of the SoundCloud files on this site, and I haven’t been able to figure out a fix. The issue makes me hesitant about posting more music . . .
There is a lot of music in BEFORE GOODBYE though, or at least conversations about music. Descriptions of music.
Guess I had to put it somewhere.
A bleakness of mood that evokes Nick Drake.
Phrasing that raises the specter of Jeff Buckley.
British songwriter and photographer J.C. Wrightson’s stark songs are instantly ear catching. Deceptively simple on first listen, they are minimalist in nature, and grainy in texture, and it is there, in that bit of a blur, that you feel the rub: Wrightson’s songs are not as simple as they sound, not simply sad, not simply vulnerable. They are those things, but they are also something more. A finger crooking, not so much in invitation, but to indicate direction: it is here, look here, in the seam of the song. Listen to the words, and also, listen to the words that are missing.
Something existential this way comes, disguised as an emo neo folk song.
J.C. Wrightson’s brief Twitter bio mentions that he’s living in Stockholm, but that’s pretty much all I know about his personal life. I started this post months ago, and tonight Wrightson’s website is down, so I can’t include the bio that I’d made a note about, the one that I apparently thought was, “as romantic as they come.”
Hopefully I can find out more about J.C. Wrightson in the future and update this post, but I’ve already waited too long to get this song up. Here’s The Tree, recorded live in Carlisle, UK. After you listen to it, you may want to check out the music video below. Nothing is Forever had me holding my breath, waiting to see what would happen—and so much happens, and nothing happens. Beautiful, and heartbreaking, and like The Tree, the video for Nothing is Forever is deceptively simple, and a killer.