Books


Julianna Helt is currently querying her first middle grade novel THUNDER GIRLS

Thunder Girls is a 40,000 word contemporary middle grade novel focusing on a girls fastpitch softball team. The popularity of girls softball is growing with a million girls playing fastpitch softball to date and will continue to grow with softball returning to the Olympics in 2020.

On the day EMILY moves to Pine Springs a yellow ball with red stitches lands in her backyard. She was pretending to unpack boxes in her room. She didn’t want to move to Pine Springs and she didn’t want anything to do with softball but when she sees that yellow ball she can’t resist its pull on her. She picks up the yellow ball and throws it back to LUCY and CHLOE, two softball playing sisters who live next door. But, her throw doesn’t make it over the fence. Chloe scoffs at her softball skills while Lucy wants her to come over and play. Emily bolts back in the house.

Emily doesn’t want anything to do with softball because the memories hurt too much. Her dad was her coach and he died six months ago. She doesn’t think she can play without him on the field with her. She keeps hearing his voice in her head saying, “throw it here, kiddo.” Her mom is pressuring her to join the local team. It’s not until Emily opens up to Lucy that she decides to join. Emily doesn’t think she can throw anymore and without her dad’s help she thinks it’s hopeless, but Lucy steps in and coaches Emily back to form.

Chloe, Lucy’s sister, is not as friendly to Emily. In fact, Chloe has not made Emily feel welcome on the team. Chloe struggles with being a good teammate, wanting to make every play on the field and insulting players when they make mistakes. Coach Jeff, Lucy and Chloe’s father, is the coach of the Thunder Girls. He warns Chloe that she needs to be nice to her teammates but Chloe’s competitive nature gets in the way every time.

The Thunder Girls find themselves in their first game of the season. Chloe is on the pitcher’s mound but, finds Emily’s mistakes in the outfield too much to bare and she yells at her after a botched play. Coach Jeff makes good on his threat and sits Chloe on the bench, bringing Emily in to pitch.

Emily’s nerves about returning to the softball field melt away when she comes in to pitch. She realizes that she shouldn’t be scared of the memories playing softball brings, and learns playing brings her closer to her dad. On the field she misses him a little less.

But Chloe’s bullying is too much for her to handle. Emily leaves the game in tears, vowing never to return. Chloe too leaves the game in tears, finally admitting she is jealous of Lucy and Emily’s friendship and promising to improve as a teammate.

After Lucy pleads for her to return and Chloe apologizes, Emily returns to the game she loves, this time for good.


Julianna Helt's current Work in Progress is SLIME WARS.
MAYCIE runs her own slime business with her best friend SHELBY. When competition threatens to ruin her business, an all out slime war begins. A friendship story for young entrepreneurs. The Babysitter's Club for the digital era.

Check back for First Chapter of Slime Wars  

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