Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hope by Grier Cooper

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Grier Cooper will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

Due to her busy ballet schedule, Indigo is only at school for a couple of periods each day. Even though her locker doesn’t see a lot of use she’s covered the inside of the locker door with photos of her role models, many of whom overcame extreme circumstances. Indigo looks at Misty Copeland’s photo and the caption below it, “I Will What I Want”, the most. Despite being told by several top ballet schools that she had the wrong body for ballet and would never be a dancer, Misty proved them all wrong when she became the first black prima ballerina in American Ballet Theater’s 75-year history. Indigo’s photo collection also includes Sylvie Guillem (known as the rebel ballerina) Wendy Whelan, Yuan Yuan Tan (SF Ballet’s youngest principal dancer in history) and Michaela DePrince. There’s also Indigo’s favorite family photo (taken three summers ago on the seaside cliffs of Maine) and other photos she finds beautiful: her mother’s roses in full bloom, a dragonfly who came to visit one day when she was sitting by the pool, a closeup of her younger brother’s tiny hands days after he was born.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

Unfortunately I can’t pick just one and I blame my father for that. When I was growing up there were always obscene amounts of sugar in our house but it wasn’t until my adult life that I pinpointed him as the culprit. These days I eat very little sugar, and even so, I can’t pick one favorite sweet treat. It’s a tie between cheesecake and chocolate (preferably milk chocolate, even better if they are Sees foil-wrapped round chocolates. I don’t know why but they are so good!). I have a killer cheesecake recipe that a friend discovered lying on the side of the road a few years back, so every once in a great while I’ll make one from scratch. This past year I started experimenting with flavors; pumpkin swirl is a new dessert nirvana.

Ideal summer vacation

Every summer I set aside time for my ideal summer vacation: time on the beach with my family. We usually rent a little cottage back East (where I grew up) and spend time with the cousins (there are lots of them). My brothers check to see if I remember how to throw a football, and we play the games we enjoyed as kids, like SPUD. I catch as many waves and as many sunsets as possible.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I’ve always wanted to fly… if you’ve ever watched a bird in action then you know why. It must be incredibly liberating to propel yourself into the air and soar high above the world. I’ve had a few flying dreams (sadly none as of late) so I feel like I’ve gotten a taste of what it feels like…all I can say is wow.

And hey, no traffic. That’s always a plus.

Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.

How do you dance your way to the top without losing yourself?

Playlist for your current book

1. Hayling – FC Kahuna
2. Fame and Fortune – Bekah Barnett
3. Butterflies – Suzanne Ciani
4. Don't Forget to Breathe – Bitter:Sweet
5. Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
6. Miss You – Trentemøller
7. Truth From Fiction – Supreme Beings Of Leisure
8. Death Cab for Cutie – Someday You will be Loved
9. Don't Look Back – Télépopmusik
10. Change My Head – Autolux
11. Heal This Land – Tina Malia
12. Lillies Of The Valley – Jun Miyake
13. This Is My Life – EDWARD MAYA feat. VIKA JIGULINA
14. I Am What I Am – Above & Beyond pres. Oceanlab
15. Anthem – Emancipator

Indigo is living the life she’s always imagined at the famed New York School of Ballet. Or is she? Although she hopes she’ll be chosen for the company, her ballet teachers aren’t talking and their silence is confusing.

When Indigo is singled out for a coveted solo she feels her dreams are finally within reach, until she finds out she’s dancing with Felipe Gonzalez, the school’s smolderingly hot rising star. In the days that follow, Indigo questions everything she thought was true and finds herself making surprising choices.

After a fateful piece of paper reveals the truth, Indigo must ask herself the hardest question of all: can she take control of her own future to create the life she wants?

Read an excerpt:

Maggie plunks her bag down, grabbing the spot next to me. “Ten minutes ‘til the fun begins,” she says. She glances around furtively before adding, “Who knows what torture she'll dish out today. But inquiring minds want to know: will she reach new levels of cattiness or will we be left sorely disappointed?” She grins wickedly as she finishes tying a ribbon on her pointe shoe.

Neither of us fares well when Alexa Damore teaches class. She's known for her snide comments and keen ability to pick people apart. “I’ll take disappointment over outright humiliation any day,” I counter. “But who knows. Maybe one of these days she’ll be miraculously transformed.”

Maggie arches an eyebrow. “What?” I continue. “It’s not too much to hope for–a little prayer can’t hurt. Pray with me. ” I fold my hands together and duck my head down. Maggie smacks me.I stick my tongue out at her while I finish tying my shoes. I refuse to climb on the negativity train with her. It's never a good way to start class.

The door to the studio glides open and a sudden hush sweeps through the room, as if the oxygen has been sucked away. Alexa Damore has arrived–but she’s wearing street clothes–and she’s not alone.

Benjamin Stafford, Artistic Director of Manhattan Ballet Theater, also known as the man who holds our future in his hands, stands in the center of the room. From where I stand, the ambient light behind him illuminates the outline of his body, as if he's a living embodiment of a god. Then again, he is a god in the world of ballet. The silence is deafening as he slowly rotates around, gazing at each of us in turn. He flashes a brilliant smile and it’s all I can barely look at him. He's even larger in life than he is onstage with broad shoulders, chiseled features, dark, tousled hair, and blazing blue eyes. On any given day he’s something to look at, but the glowing outline thing further illustrates the glaring difference between him and everyone else in the room.

His eyes fall on me and my heart flutters in my ribcage. I immediately stand a little bit taller and suck in my gut. My breath gets shallower and tighter. I close my eyes and force myself to breath normally. Passing out in class is not the way I want to make an impression.

I may not survive this class.

About the Author:
Grier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.

She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of the Indigo Dreams ballet fiction series for young adults and The Daily Book of Photography.

Amazon Author page:
Barnes and Noble:

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  1. Stopping by to say hello and also thanking you for the giveaway

  2. Thank so much for hosting HOPE today!

  3. Awesome playlist and great interview! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Glad you enjoyed them, Victoria!

  5. I enjoyed reading the excerpt. This book sounds like an interesting and intriguing read. Looking forward to checking out this book.

  6. Excellent interview! Can't wait to read this book!