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Reach for Tomorrow (One Last Wish) [Paperback]

By Lurlene McDaniel (Author)
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Item description for Reach for Tomorrow (One Last Wish) by Lurlene McDaniel...

After her freshman year at college, Katie decides to return to work at Jenny House, a camp for sick children, even though it means she may have to face her former boyfriend, Josh Martel, whose brother's heart had saved her life. Original.

Publishers Description
Katie O'Roark is thrilled to learn that Jenny House is being rebuilt. After the fire last year, Katie thought she could never return to the camp, where she spent the summers with teens like her who faced medical odds stacked against them. But thanks to Richard Holloway's efforts, Katie and her longtime friends Lacey and Chelsea will work as counselors once again. They'll be joined by Megan, Morgan, and Eric, who are newcomers to Jenny House but who have experienced the generosity of One Last Wish Foundation.

It's not until Katie arrives at camp that she discovers that Josh Martel, her former boyfriend, is also a counselor. Being near Josh again brings back a flood of old emotions for Katie. And when Josh confronts unexpected adversity, Katie knows she has to work out her feelings for him. Through the heart transplant she underwent years ago, Katie miraculously received a gift of new life. Now she must discover how to make the most of that precious gift and choose her future.
Meg met Eric on the shore of the lake the next evening. In the failing light, the water was the color of pale emeralds and smooth as silk. A canoe had been pulled up out of the water onto the damp ground.

"You made it," he said, looking pleased.

"No problems at all," she said. "I told Lacey I'd do double duty for her whenever she wanted it." When Meg had asked Lacey if she could step out for the evening, Lacey hadn't peppered her with questions. It was understood that counselors needed some "alone" time because of the intensity of their job.

"Your yacht awaits," Eric joked, shoving the canoe into the water and helping her into her seat. Meg looked at Eric's broad shoulders as they started paddling across the smooth lake.

A whippoorwill called out, and two snow-white herons lifted gracefully off the bank when the canoe glided near. Tree branches dipped low over the water, brushing the surface with lazy, leafy fingers. Tree frogs began their evening symphonies, fireflies dotted the shoreline, and overhead, stars winked on.

"It certainly is peaceful out here." Meg spoke quietly so as not to shatter the silence.

"Better than church," Eric answered over his shoulder.

Meg found the lapping sound their paddles made comforting, and the pull on her arms as the paddle sliced through the water was invigorating.

Since he was in front, Eric guided the canoe with his paddle, and soon Meg realized that he had a destination in mind. "Are we going somewhere in particular?" she asked.

"Yes, straight toward that rock that's jutting out."

She could see it in the gathering twilight and helped him paddle toward it. Beside the rock, Eric swung the canoe around and nudged it close to the reedy shore. He helped her out, pushed the canoe farther into the reeds, and said, "Follow me."

"Where are we going?" she asked. He certainly appeared to have a plan.

"It's a surprise."

"It's getting dark, hard to see."

"Faithful scout have fake fire," he said, flipping out a small high-beam flashlight from his pocket and taking her hand.

She followed him through the woods. The trail widened, then opened out into a meadow ringed by tall trees. In the center of the clearing a blanket had been spread out, and on the blanket were a picnic basket, a couple of pillows, and about half a dozen unlit candles.

"Let me get these going," he said, dropping down on the blanket and taking out a lighter. In seconds, the candles flickered, throwing off warm golden light that sank into darkness beyond the edge of the blanket.

She sat beside him, amazed. "You did all this for me?

"For us," he said. "I stumbled across this place one day when I went exploring and thought it would be the perfect spot for a moonlight picnic. All I needed was the perfect girl to share it with."

"Why, Eric, this is just beautiful."

"Don't sound so shocked. Guys know how to be romantic when they put their minds to it." He opened the basket and brought out paper plates and a cluster of grapes. "I've got cheese too. And sodas. Lie back. Make yourself comfortable."

Meg fluffed a pillow and stretched out. Above her a thousand stars twinkled down. All she could think about was how sweet it had been of him to think up the idea. True, his presence didn't make her heart pound the way Morgan's did, but Eric certainly was fun to be with. He had style and imagination. "So, confess, how many girls have you done this with before me?"

"I'm crushed," he said popping a grape into his mouth. "This was carefully premeditated with you in mind."

She nibbled on a slice of cheese. "Well, I'm totally impressed. Thank you. But why me? Why not ask one of the other girls?" She was thinking about Chelsea.

"Because I like you best?" He offered his explanation as a question.

"Lacey's prettier."

Eric shivered. "Cold as ice, that one. Besides, she's got a boyfriend. Ditto Katie. I mean, who wants to run afoul of Josh? He's nuts about that girl and would probably pound my brains in if I so much as looked at her."

"And Chelsea?"

"She's cute, but I'm not interested."

Meg felt let down on her friend's behalf.

"No, I like you best, Megan Charnell, so stop trying to pass me off to some other girl. You're the one I want to be with. End of story." He stretched out beside her, lacing his fingers through hers.

She was flattered that he liked her but not quite sure how she felt about his attention. She wasn't prepared for a summer romance. "What do you do when you're not cooking at camp and taking girls on moonlit picnics?" she asked. "College? A fulltime job?"

"I'm starting junior college in the fall. My sister's idea. I live with her and she thinks I need a good education, so to keep the peace, I'm going."

Since she loved college and learning, his answer surprised her. "Don't you have any dreams? Anything you want to do with your life?"

"Make a lot of money."

"That takes a skill."

He rolled over, boosted himself up on his elbows, and peered down at her face. "I can get that lecture from my sister."

"I didn't mean it the way it must have sounded. I was just making conversation." In the candlelight flickering on the side of his face, Meg could appreciate how attractive he was.

"I'd rather go light on the conversation and . . ." He let the sentence trail off.

"And what?" Her pulse began to pound.

"I'd like to kiss you," he said. "Can I?"

No boy had kissed her since Donovan, and she felt woefully out of practice. "Permission granted," she told Eric.

He slid his arm beneath her shoulders and cradled her close. He touched her temple with his lips, sending small shivers down her spine. He kissed her softly on the forehead, then on the cheeks, and then fully on the mouth. The incredible sweetness of it all went through her like melting candle wax.

She let him trail kisses down her neck, along her throat, then back to her mouth. She reveled in the sheer physical pleasure of the moment. When he pulled back, she didn't even open her eyes. She was floating on a sea of warmth, and she savored it the way a hungry person savors a succulent dollop of deep, rich chocolate.

"You taste good," he whispered. "I really like you, Meg."

She couldn't answer. Although she'd experienced physical pleasure in his arms, a part of her felt disengaged and uninvolved. And some voice inside her was saying that he had done this before, and that it worked for him. He knew how to romance a girl, all right. He knew just what to do, just what buttons to push. She was certain that many girls had fallen for his charm, enjoyed his kisses.

"Your picnic was wonderful," she said in his ear. "Thank you. But I really have to be getting back. You know we're always on call around here, and I shouldn't leave Lacey alone with my group all evening.

Eric's expression turned to one of astonishment, but he recovered quickly. "Are you sure? It's not that late. We've only been gone a little while."

"Sorry," she said with her sweetest smile.

If he was mad, he didn't show it. He began to put things away. She helped him blow out the candles, pack up the basket, and fold the blanket.

"You okay?" he asked before they started back to the canoe.

"I'm fine, Eric. Better than I've been in months."

He grinned. "Then we can do this again?"

She shook her head. "Probably not."

"I don't get it."

"I'm not sure I do either, but this is the way it has to be."

They returned to the canoe, got in, and paddled in silence back to the place they'd shoved off from. Once on land, Meg caught his hand. "Thank you, Eric. I really mean that."

"Um--yeah, sure," he said, but he looked totally confused in the pale light of the half moon.

Meg stood on tiptoe and kissed him lightly on the mouth. Then she turned and hurried back toward her cabin, leaving Eric standing on the shore, shaking his head.

In nearby shadows, Morgan stood watching. So Eric had made a move and Meg had gone for it. Morgan felt an edgy spark of jealousy, an emotion he hadn't felt since before Anne died. It's a free world, he told himself. She can do anything she wants, be with anybody she wants. Still, his insides simmered.

There was nothing he could do about it, except maybe give Eric a wide berth for the next month. The guy got on his nerves. Morgan recalled the moves he himself had once put on Anne and how she'd turned him away. At the time, he'd been hurt. Then he'd learned of her HIV status, and he had been grateful. Anne had been a wonderful girl. He missed her.

Meg was the first girl to interest him since Anne, and she was attracted to a guy like Eric. "Figures," Morgan said under his breath. Life just didn't seem to have a way of working out for him. No, it surely didn't.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Reach for Tomorrow (One Last Wish) by Lurlene McDaniel has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 12/01/1999
  • Ingram Paperback Advance - 08/01/1999 page 17
  • School Library Journal - 12/01/1999 page 137

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Laurel Leaf
Pages   171
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 4.25" Height: 6.75"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 13, 1999
Publisher   Laurel Leaf
Age  10-14
ISBN  0553571095  
ISBN13  9780553571097  

Availability  0 units.

More About Lurlene McDaniel

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lurlene McDaniel began writing inspirational novels about teenagers facing life-altering situations when her son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. I saw firsthand how chronic illness affects every aspect of a person s life, she has said. I want kids to know that while people don t get to choose what life gives to them, they do get to choose how they respond.
Lurlene McDaniel s novels are hard-hitting and realistic, but also leave readers with inspiration and hope. Her books have received acclaim from readers, teachers, parents, and reviewers. Her bestselling novels include Don t Die, My Love; I ll Be Seeing You; Till Death Do Us Part; Hit and Run; and Prey.

Lurlene McDaniel currently resides in Chattanooga, in the state of Tennessee.

Lurlene McDaniel has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Angels Trilogy
  2. Dawn Rochelle Novels
  3. Lurlene McDaniel (Mass Market)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Issues > Illness
3Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Social Situations > Friendship > Fiction
4Books > Subjects > Children > Science, Nature & How It Works > Health > Fiction
5Books > Subjects > Children > Science, Nature & How It Works > Health > Hygiene
6Books > Subjects > Children > Sports & Activities > Sports > Miscellaneous > Fiction
7Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12
8Books > Subjects > Teens > Literature & Fiction > General
9Books > Subjects > Teens > Literature & Fiction > Love & Romance
10Books > Subjects > Teens > Series > One Last Wish

Reviews - What do customers think about Reach for Tomorrow (One Last Wish)?

" Reach for tomorrow "  Mar 23, 2007
Have you ever wanted to read a good romance with a little tragdey mixed in that will knock your socks off? Well, "Reach for Tomorrow " will by Lurlene McDaniel does just that. The main character in this book is Katie O'Roark. Katie is a college student with an athletic scholarship. She has recentally had a heart transplant.Which has changed her life dramatically.During her summers she attends the Jenny House.The Jenny House is a camp for kids with medical problems to go relax and meet people with the same problems. One summer Katie recieved a letter from The Jenny House. She was thrilled to know she was choosen to be a counselor. Along with some of her friend from the former years she has attened The Jenny House. Last year The Jenny House was burned dwom due to a fire. Katie was excited to know it was being rebuilt. Katie's ex-boyfreind, Josh Martel also is going to be a counselor. Being around Josh brings back so many memories and emothions that Katie just can't handle.

This book revels flashback and realistic detail. Some of the flashbacks that are mentioned are of when Katie was in the hospital and when her and Josh was still together.The realistic detail is amazing. For example, when Eric and Meg go for a canoe ride together the author gives details on everyhting surrounding then and what they do exactly. Also, the author uses a lot of humor in the book. Such as whe nthey have a tug-a-war challenge and the girls lose.They get pulled into a mudd puddle and Lacey says, " I've always wandered what i'd look like as a brunette.

This book is a really good book to read. When I started reading this book I didn't want to put it down. It shows realationships and friendships. If I had'nt read this book and someone had just told me about it I would read it in a heartbeat. That says a lot because i'm not one to read that much. So therefore, this book is a great book for romance and tradgey.
Best book ever!  Sep 6, 2006
I really loved thsi book. Especially how all the characters from the other stories get together. The scenes with Josh and Katie were heart-breaking and wonderful at the same time. And if you want to know what ahppens between Katie and Josh once the summer's over, you gotta read this book!
WoW.....greatest book!  Apr 21, 2004
Ok.....i have read all of the One Last Wish books and this one by far is the greatest!! Katie and Josh's ending was fantastic...i think Lurlene McDaniel should write more of the OLW books about Katie and Josh's future together...and Lacey and Jeff and Meg and Morgan. The book does leave you at a loss with what happend to Meg and Morgan, Jeff and Lacey, Eric, and would be great to find out what happens to eveyone. I loved all of the other OLW books too! I couldn't put any of these books down they were great. And Lurlene McDaniel should defiantly write more books about OLW and Jenny House!!!
Reach for Another Day  Jan 30, 2004
I really like romance novels. The way Lurlene McDaniel explains the character's emotions is unbeliveable! My favorite book by Lurene McDaniel is "Reach for Tomorrow," the second in this McDaniel series. It is about a girl named Katie and she goes to a camp where sick kids go to have fun. Katie meets up with a bunch of friends including her ex-boyfriend,Josh. When they saw eachother, they freaked out. Then she found out that he has been in an accadent and they didn't know if he was going to live. She and all the campers are all worried. She goes down to the chapel and prays for him. A couple of weeks later they got married in the chapel. Katie's favorite camper,Sara, was supposed to be in the wedding but....If you want to know what happens, read "Reach for Tomarrow." I really like the book "Telling Christina Goodbye," also by Lurlene McDaniel.
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Aug 15, 2002
in my opinion, Reach For Tomorrow is Lurlene McDaniel's best book.It was great how she put in Eric, Megan, Sarah, and Morgan from the other one last wish books. The only OWL character missing was Dani from Mourning Song. I hope Lurlene writes a sequel that describes what happens to Josh and katie now that they're married, if meg and morgan stay together, and what happens to the other characters. YOU GOTTA READ ABOUT THIS FABULOUS JENNY HOUSE REUNION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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