Running Away: The Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and Giveaway of Freerunner


About the Book

Book: Freerunner

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?


Click here to get your copy!

Book Review
I am very glad that Kathy Cassel brought such a sensitive, but important, issue to light. Kiana’s story is technically fictional, but what happened to her happens to little girls all the time and it’s something that really needs to be addressed. So I appreciate that Cassel stepped up to do just that. 

But I do have to say that overall, I was disappointed with this book. The plotline with Kiana and her abuser fell flat and could have been developed more. I wish I could have seen Kiana trying to deal with the abuse more, and how it affected her mentally. I wish we could have had an actual flashback of what happened to her with more details, and not just fragments. And I do not understand why Kiana’s mother wasn’t more concerned about the abuse inflicted on her daughter. She just brushes it off and we’re not really given a reason why. She believed Kiana when she told her what happened but doesn’t do anything about it. I’m also confused as to why other characters besides Kiana and her  friend Thorn couldn’t see that her abuser was trying to hurt another girl. This man wasn’t being careful at hiding what he was doing. And yet, people believed his lies and cover-ups despite all the holes in them. 

I did like the plotline of Kiana trying to figure out who her father is. However, there isn’t much of a mystery to that. And what happened during her mother’s high-school years was easy to figure out. 

As I said before, I appreciate what Cassel was trying to do with this book. Touching upon this topic is not an easy thing to do and we need more awareness for this. 

I had received a copy of this book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review. 

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

Meet the cover model for Freerunner.

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.

Blog Stops

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

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 20

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.


  1. You would be amazed how many moms and family members allow this type of abuse to happen to children. It is sad and I struggle to understand it.

  2. Thank you for your review of my book. I'm glad Elk Lake was willing to take a chance on the subject matter. I left the details purposefully vague in case a too young of reader were to read the book. A teen reader would be able to fill in the blanks, whereas a young reader may interpret he hurt me to mean he hit her.

  3. My next book, Catching Hope, starts on blog tour on Feb 25. I wonder if you are one of the reviewers?

  4. I think I did see that tour but I don't think I signed up for it. I am busier this school semester so I am being picky with the tours I sign up for. I'm sorry.

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