My Debut Novel, BEFORE GOODBYE

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. 

 

Cross-BeforeGoodbye-20232-CV-FT-v5 copy 2

 

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.

Wow, right?

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.

Xo!

Mimi

Romance & Writing on #YAlitchat

Romance is definitely a HAWT topic for the #yalitchat tweeps!

Last night on twitter the tweets were flying about what we want to see as far as YA couples and relationships, what we like and don’t like, and how YA romance is different from adult romance.

During the course of the evening I quoted from Galway Kinnell’s The Still Time.

I remember those summer nights

when I was young and empty,

For me these lines express the yearning that YA literature is all about. I decided to put the entire poem up because it’s so gorgeous. Enjoy.

Below Galway Kinnell’s poem I posted the lyrics of a song that the MC of one of my YA manuscripts wrote after breaking up with the love of her life.

The lyrics deal with a different kind of emptiness—and I’m certainly not comparing my writing to Galway Kinnell’s!—but I do think sharp emotions are present in both the poem and the song. I think this kind of heightened emotion is what readers, both teens and adults, are looking for when they choose to read YA.

Do you agree? Why do you read YA? Please leave a comment to let me know. Thanks!

See you on twitter ;)

The Still Time

I know there is still time—

time for the hands

to open, for the bones of them

to be filled

by those failed harvests of want,

the bread imagined of the days of not having.

 

Now that the fear

has been rummaged down to its husk

and the wind blowing

the flesh away translates itself

and the flesh into flesh

streams in its reveries on the wind.

 

I remember those summer nights

when I was young and empty,

when I lay through the darkness

wanting, wanting,

knowing

I would have nothing of anything I wanted—

that total craving

that hollows the heart out irreversibly.

 

So it surprises me now to hear

the steps of my life following me—

so much of it gone

it returns, everything that drove me crazy

comes back, blessing the misery

of each step it took me into the world;

as though prayer had ended

and the changed

air between the palms goes free

to become the glitter

on common things that inexplicably shine.

 

And the old voices,

which once made broken-off, choked, parrot-incoherences,

speak again,

this time on the palatum cordis, all of them

saying there is time, still time,

for those who can groan

to sing,

for those who can sing to heal themselves.


Empty 

I am empty

Like the streets at night

Like the movie house

When they turn up the lights

 

I am empty

Like this curtained bed

Like your promises

All those things you said

 

(Chorus)

That filled my head

Until I got lost in love, I got confused

Between your lies and what I know is true . . .

 

I am empty

Ghost town in the dust

God’s a shadow here

Nothing I can trust

 

I am empty

The appetite we fed

Going hungry now

Starve those words you said

 

(Chorus)

That filled my head

Until I got lost in love, I got confused

Between your lies and what I know is true . . .

 

I am empty

All the tears I bled

They don’t mean a thing

Like those things you said

 

(Chorus)

 

(Outro)

I played the fool

I fell in love—and then I got confused, I don’t know what to do

I think I’d lose it all – if I lost you . . . I’d be empty . . . I’m empty now . . . I am empty.