About the Book
Author: Kathy Cassel
Genre: YA fiction
Set against the backdrop of the sport of freerunning, Kia must decide whether she will continue running or face her past abuser in order to save another child.
Night is Kia’s favorite time, when she freeruns to outdistance the memories of abuse she suffered as a young child. But when former reality television star Terrence Jones arrives at their school as the new head track coach, things begin to change in unpredictable ways. Kia tries out for the team to fit in, but just as she’s gaining a new sense of normal, her abuser steps back into her life. Not only that, but being on the track team causes even more turmoil. Why does the assistant coach, Cassandra Clark, dislike Terrence Jones so much, and even more troubling, why does Coach Clark dislike her so much? As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, Kia realizes she has to choose between running from her past or saving a child from the same sort of abuse she suffered. But will she have the courage to do so?
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Guest Review from Joni Truex
Freerunner by Kathy Cassel takes on tough topics with compassion and grace. The story leads with freerunning – a skill involving running, jumping, acrobatic maneuvers and gymnastics. Can a Freerunner try out and make the track team at high school? And why should they? The best friend suggests it so they try out and both make the team. The newly hired coach creates quite the stir and ends up having a lasting influence on his athletes. The coach’s faith is solid and he shares his belief system through an after school program at his church. God’s influence helps shape family relationships, friendships and high school and sports. Definitely worth the read for young adults and those young at heart.
This book was provided through Celebrate Lit and the author for me to read. The opinions expressed are my own thoughts.
About the Author
Kathy grew up in northern Indiana, lived in three different continents while her husband was in the USAF, and now lives in the Florida Panhandle. She and her husband have eight children, five of whom are adopted, three from Haiti and two from the United States. They also have four grandchildren. Kathy’s favorite activities are those that involve traveling and adventures that include her children and grandchildren.
In order to better relate to the characters in her stories, Kathy has done things such as whitewater rafting, certify in scuba diving, and get her motorcycle endorsement. She draws the line at sky diving.
More from Kathy
I asked a friend if I could photograph her daughter to give the design team an idea of what I envisioned for the cover of Freerunner. I took action shots and mood shots (and even have some fun bloopers). When I sent them to the design team, they actually chose to use one of my photos for the cover. Now one of my friend’s daughters is on the cover of my first teen fiction book. She’s an amazing young lady, so it’s special to me to have her as the cover model.
The cover model is fifteen–year-old Larissa (fourteen when the cover photo was taken), who is part of an adoptive family that has twelve children. She and her brother were adopted as toddlers, and while Larissa doesn’t share Kia’s story, she has had struggles of her own. To accommodate some medical issues, she is homeschooled. She is involved in modeling, dance, musical theater and singing. The amazing part about Larissa performing is that because of the trauma of spending three years in foster care she struggled with selective mutism, not able to talk to anyone outside of her family. Amazingly she has been able to overcome it and is now able to express herself verbally as well as through music and dance. Larissa’s newest interest is photography, and she loves llamas and collecting realistic dolls.
Here are a few fun facts about Larissa:
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite sport: dance
Favorite Bible verse: Proverbs 3:5
Favorite Bible character: Noah
Favorite activity: singing and dancing
What do you want to be as an adult? Performer and photographer
What one thing do you want to do more than anything else? Walk a runway in Italy
What advice would you give a girl in Kia’s situation or in any abusive situation? Pray and ask an adult for help. You are the victim, it isn’t your fault.
Rebecca Tews, November 10
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 11
Texas Book-aholic, November 12
Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 13 (Author Interview)
Inklings and notions, November 14
For Him and My Family, November 15
Library Lady Kid Lit, November 16
Wishful Endings, November 17 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, November 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 18
Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 19
Stories By Gina, November 21 (Author Interview)
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 21
deb’s Book Review, November 22
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 23
To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Books-A-Million Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.