Off Balance, Book 1 of the Ballet Theatre Chronicles
Alice thinks she’s accepted the loss of her ballet career, injury having forced her to trade in pointe shoes onstage for spreadsheets upstairs. That is, until the day Alice's boss asks her to befriend Lana, a pretty new company member he’s got his eye on. Lana represents all Alice has lost, not just as a ballet dancer, but as a motherless daughter. It’s pain she’s kept hidden, even from herself, as every good ballet dancer knows to do.
Lana, lonely and unmoored, desperately needs some help, and her mother, back home, vows eternal support. But when Lana begins to profit from Alice’s advice and help, her mother’s constant attention curdles into something more sinister.
Together, both women must embark on a journey of painful rediscoveries, not just about career opportunities won and lost, but the mothers they thought they knew.
OFF BALANCE takes the reader beyond the glitter of the stage to expose the sweat and struggle, amid the mandate to sustain the illusion at all cost.
Available at Bookshop Santa Cruz and on Amazon HERE
Praise for Off Balance
"Terez Mertes Rose writes with an urgency that keeps us reading long past our bedtimes."
-- Dance Advantage
"A refreshing and gritty story about friendships, dreams, and life. The reason why this story works on so many levels is the author's ability to create characters that ring true. Rose delves deep into her characters' back story to show how they really are: human and flawed. While her characters are off balance, Rose has balanced her novel perfectly. It's well-written and constructed brilliantly. OFF BALANCE will leave readers wanting more."
-- Self-Publishing Review, 5 Stars
"Any readers who have ever grappled to find the courage to strengthen or to soften, to embrace a dream or to let go of one, will find themselves rooting for the two willful yet wounded protagonists in Terez Mertes Rose's edgy debut, OFF BALANCE. I loved this exquisitely written, fast-paced novel from the first page to the last."
-- Sandra Kring, bestselling author of The Book of Bright Ideas.
“The demands of the stage—or memories of it—bring two lifelong dancers into an unlikely friendship that helps them face their respective breaking points. Powerfully rendered, sensuously artistic and hauntingly beautiful, OFF BALANCE is on track to become one of my favorite reads of the year.”
--Tara Staley, author of Need to Breathe and Conditions are Favorable
"A realistic and gripping account of the grittier side of ballet."
-- Grier Cooper, author of Wish