Crystal Kite voting is open! #SCBWI

SCBWI members it’s that time :)

Just click the pic and follow directions.


And if you have an entry…

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Before Goodbye, The Song

Out today on CDBaby. Soon to be on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon—where the music is.

Out today on CDBaby. Soon to be on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon—wherever music lives. I wrote “Before Goodbye” to go along with my debut novel of the same name. You can get a copy of the song by clicking here. Hope you enjoy! “Before Goodbye” was recorded in Woodstock, NY and produced by the illustrious Kevin Salem.



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.



Boy Meets Girl. Cities Burn.

Soundtracks can be a great source of inspiration for writers.

If you’re writing a scene today with a lot of conflict, check out Final Battle (The Gates of Kronos) by Peter Mor. Final Battle is a minute and a half of epic drama, perfect for book three of your paranormal trilogy, when good and evil go at it.

Dotted with hits of quirky synth sound that come in for the first time around the fifteen second mark, you can use Final Battle as the background music for your YA dystopian, too, or to help you get that sci-fi novel you’ve been thinking of out of your head and onto the page. Focus on the vigorous strings if your characters need to flee, or the sustained brass part if you’re writing your hero. The insistent, driving drums guarantee you’ll have a sweeping setting if you let your muse listen to Final Battle and allow her to have her way, although she might talk you into writing a historical novel, something you promised yourself you’d never do, because it’s just too much work.

Peter Mor was born in Volos, Greece, and comes from a musical family. He began classical guitar lessons at the conservatory at age seven, but his favorite instrument is the electric guitar. I’m pretty sure he loves movies, and Sirens. This pic was on his site.


I’ve Been Tagged: The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

I was recently tagged by the fantabulous Natalie Zaman to take part in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, something I’m feeling super warm and fuzzy about. The NBT Blog Hop is an opportunity for me to talk about my Work in Progress, which is kind of cool, because usually my blog is devoted to music—others people’s.

But before we go any further, please stop by Natalie’s blog and check out her WIPS—yes, she’s got two! I’m especially excited about WYVERNGIRL.

What is the working title of your book? 

THE DEEPENING, book 2 of Sirenstories. Book 1, SHINING SEA, is in the hands of several wonderful agents (YES, RIGHT NOW—EEEK!) so I have high hopes that I’ll find my match as far as representation goes very soon and my Sirens will have a better shot at making their way out into the world. Huh? What’s a Siren?

Si•ren|ˈsīrən| noun|ORIGIN Middle English (denoting a type of snake): from Old French sirene, from Latin Sirena, from Greek Seirēn. The enormous wings of the Siren can burst from the backs of their seemingly human bodies in a heartbeat and allow them to take to the sky. Their ability to breathe underwater permits them to be equally at home in the sea. The seductive Song of the Siren casts a spell so strong no man or woman, and certainly no teenager, can ever resist it.

There’s something even creepier I ought to tell you about Sirens—but you know how these things go. If I told you, I’d have to kill you.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

After I finished writing book 1 of Sirenstories, I realized that although the book was complete, the main character’s story was just beginning.

What genre does your book fall under? 

THE DEEPENING explores magical realism and dark fantasy against the backdrop of a wholly contemporary YA sensibility.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 

Whoa—haven’t thought about that . . . but nearly all the characters in THE DEEPENING are musicians and I listen to music when I write, so there are certain voices that I think of when I think of my characters, and certain melodies. I have looong playlists for all three Sirenstories books. Pete Yorn, the music of Marcelo Zarvos, New Order, IAMX, The Nationals, The Appleseed Cast, Linkin Park, Adam Lambert, Mini Bar, The XX—oh man, I’d better stop, or I’ll have to list half the artists on this blog! Proofsound especially has provided great cinematic music to write to.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Girl loses boy, Girl forms a band, Girl gets Boy back. (Boy is a Siren, did I mention that?)

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Hope it will be represented! *drums fingers on table, taps foot*

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 

A month. But that was the vomit draft so, it hardly counts. For me, most of the writing is in the revision, or rather, Re Vision.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Er—ah, hm . . . Book I has been described as an “Epic fantasy” and “A sweeping love story”, does that help?

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Maybe we should go for coffee? The short answer: I live surrounded by water and can see the oldest continually operating lighthouse in the country from my office window. (The main character lives in a lighthouse, surprised?) I’ve had lots of dreams where I can breathe underwater, I’m a singer, and a few years ago I dreamed of an owl with a woman’s face—that’s got to be symbolic, right? Because none of the characters are even remotely owl like.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s a love triangle and the guys are super hot—

At its core, THE DEEPENING is an artist’s story. It’s about a teenage girl becoming a singer and a songwriter and a performer, despite the Sirens who turn up everywhere and try to kill her boyfriend. But maybe that’s secondary to all the kissing.

And now, onto step two of the blog hop: my nominations!

Five wonderful writers who I hope will to participate in the NBT blog hop!

Joëlle Anthony 

Tara Kelly

Emily Winslow 

David Macinnis Gill

Mindy McGinnis

Special thanks to Natalie Dahlink Zaman for the love. And the cupcakes.

PS Are you guys wondering if David and Mindy are related? Because I am . . .