With six months until the Olympic Games, seventeen-year-old Harper's life is pretty much perfect. She's fighting for the starting spot on Team USA Women's Hockey, and for the first time ever, she has a crush on a guy who likes her back. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she runs a risky play at practice and breaks her knee, thereby sentencing herself to six weeks in a cast and possibly ending her Olympic dream before it even starts. For seventeen-year-old Alex, being anything less than the best is unacceptable. That's why, after a miserable debut season at the senior level, the former junior national singles champion switches to ice dance. Her skating partner, Ace, is an "all skating all the time" type of guy, which would be fine, if he'd stop keeping secrets about the real reason he and his former partner broke up. Now is not the time for second thoughts, but how can Alex skate her best if she can’t trust her partner…or herself? As the pressure to make the Olympic team builds, the girls must rely on each other, because if there’s one thing they both know, it's that the only thing harder than skating to the top is staying there.
Beth Pond graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Hendrix College in 2012. In 2013, she taught in South Africa for 9 months as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant. Pond is currently completing her coursework at the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing MFA program. Her debut novel, Podium Finish, was released from Astraea Press in November 2013. When she’s not writing, Pond enjoys martial arts (she’s a black belt) and serving as a volunteer coach for her brother’s special needs baseball team.
Praise for Podium Finish
Podium Finish is unlike any other book I have read, period. It is amazing that Ms. Pond could take two very different characters who are pursuing two completely different sports and tie them together as roommates at the Olympic Training Center. ~Crystal, Books are Sanity
This is a great, fun book! This story is really 2 stories in one - bonus! ~Shelley Walker, Goodreads
This book was truly enjoyable to read. ~Michele, Amazon Review
Podium Finish is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. ~Ana, Amazon Reviewer
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Read an excerpt
We finish a slow lap around the rink then I tell Rye I want to see him speed skate."It's more impressive when I'm actually racing people.""That's okay," I say."You just want an excuse to look at my butt.""No. I'll just race you then if you're going to be like that.""You'll still have a nice view of my butt."If I were in 100 percent health, I would have punched him in the arm and bolted off, not caring that his skates are better designed for racing, not to mention the years of experience he has, and I would have raced my heart out, but I'm not in 100 percent health. A dull ache crept its way into my knee on the second turn of our slow lap together. It's not painful. It's the weakness Tyler was talking about, but nevertheless, that ache is a reminder that comebacks are a multistep process.Rye takes off, crossing his right leg over his left leg to turn the corner of the rink, picking up speed on the straights. When he passes me, a rush of wind follows him. He rounds the first turn again, fingertips brushing the surface of the ice, body at a 45-degree angle, so low to the ice that if it weren't for his speed, he'd fall over, too much speed and he'd fall as well. I stand by the rink wall, and Rye whips by again, purposely getting close to me even though speed skaters normally try to stay as close to the inside of the track as possible."Show off!" I call, but he's already coming out of the turn and probably can't hear me.