Sometimes I think to myself, “How did I get here?” Then the pain hits and I remember…it’s because she’s gone. I now live in a new town, go to a new school, and I’m supposed to be moving on with my new life. Only, I no longer know who I am anymore. Dancing is all I have left and every day I feel completely alone. Silence has become the theme song to my life. She said to find some joy and light, but I don’t know how. Mostly, I feel surrounded in darkness…that is until I meet him.
I have only one goal, in 298 days I’m going to drive away from this small beach town and never return. People are always watching me closely, too close, and I’m tired of wearing a mask. I need to be free. Swimming is my ticket out of here and I remind myself daily to fly under the radar, stick to my routine, and under no circumstances let anything distract me. I’m not as perfect as they think, most days I am drowning in guilt. I’m not sure I will ever be able to escape the feelings of shame, worthlessness, and just being unwanted…that is until I meet her.
Ali has been counting the days since she lost her mother, wondering when her pain will ease. Ali uses dancing to help her cope and to keep her and her mother’s dream of Juilliard alive. Her father has relocated them from Colorado to Florida for her Senior year of high school and he is ignoring her existence, so now she is on her own.
Drew is counting the days till he is finally free, free from the hell he is silently living. He is very dedicated to his swimming career, as that is his ticket to a new start. He doesn’t allow outside relationships to get in the way of his goal.
A chance meeting in the ocean one morning between Ali and Drew changes everything. Both are broken individuals and are leery of letting anyone in, but there is a connection that cannot be ignored. Not wanting to open up to the possibility of being hurt, they agree to just be friends.
But what happens when stronger feelings begin to develop? Will Ali and Drew embrace those feelings and let go of the pain that is holding them back?
This is such a beautiful, emotional story! Ali and Drew are strong, very likeable characters. They have been through great tragedy but work hard to persevere. I love how the full picture is given with both of their POV. I also love some of the secondary characters, especially Beau and Leila and can’t wait for their story! Kathryn Andrews writes about some very serious matters in such a touching and sensitive way. I am now a fan and look forward to reading more from this author!
Over ten years ago my husband and I were driving from Chicago to Tampa and somewhere in Kentucky I remember seeing a billboard that was all black with five white words, “I do, therefore I am!” I’m certain that it was a Nike ad, but for me I found this to be completely profound.
Take running for example. Most will say that a runner is someone who runs five days a week and runs under a ten minute mile pace. Well, I can tell you that I never run five days a week and on my best days my pace is an eleven minute mile. I have run six half marathons and one full marathon. No matter what anyone says, I am a runner. I do, therefore I am.
I’ve taken this same thought and applied it to so many areas of my life: cooking, gardening, quilting, and yes . . . writing.
I may not be culinary trained, but I love to cook and my family and friends loves to eat my food. I cook, therefore I am a chef!
My thumb is not black. I love to grow herbs, tomatoes, roses, and lavender. I garden, therefore I am a gardener!
I love beautiful fabrics and I can follow a pattern. My triangles may not line up perfectly . . . but who cares, my quilts are still beautiful when they are finished. I quilt, therefore I am a quilter.
I have been writing my entire life. It is my husband who finally said, “Who cares if people like your books or not? If you enjoy writing them and you love your stories . . . then write them.” He has always been my biggest fan and he was right. Being a writer has always been my dream and what I said I wanted to be when I grew up.
So, I’ve told you who I am and what I love to do . . . now I’m going to tell you the why.
I have two boys that are three years a part. My husband and I want to instill in them adventure, courage, and passion. We don’t expect them to be perfect at things, we just want them to try and do. It’s not about winning the race, it’s about showing up in the first place. We don’t want them to be discouraged by society stereotypes, we want them to embrace who they are and what they love. After all, we only get one life.
In the end, they won’t care how many books I actually sell . . . all that matters to them is that I said I was going to do it, I did it, and I have loved every minute of it.
Find something that you love and tell yourself, “I do, therefore I am.”
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