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by Sherry Derr-Wille
Category: Young Adult/Romance
Description: JENI BARRETT thought singing in her high school's production of Annie Get Your Gun was the best thing to happen to her until she met Mitch. MITCHELL DALLMAN knew Jeni Barrett would be the perfect singing partner for pop star, Tony LaMont for the summer. Little did he know she would become special in more ways than one.
eBook Publisher: Class Act Books, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: July 2009
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [118 KB]
Reading time: 74-104 min.
Jeni Barrett stared into the mirror over the makeshift dressing table. Tonight would be the last performance of her high school's musical, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. It would be the last time she would play Annie. Part of her wanted the night to be over. The rehearsals had cut into her study time. Part of her wanted it to never end; she loved the applause, the laughter, the sense she was entertaining the audience.
As she put the wig with braids over her short blonde hair for the first act, she thought about the conversation with her brother Harry earlier in the evening. Harry wanted her to continue her education. She argued that she wanted to be an entertainer.
Four years ago, their parents were killed in a car accident. After the funeral, she went to live with her older brother Harry, and his wife Sarah. Harry was thirteen years older than Jeni and, with such an age difference, they hardly had a brother-sister relationship. She was only five when Harry went to college. After that, he came home only during the summer and at the Christmas holidays. Then, three years before her parents died, he married Sarah Parker, and the visits became even more infrequent.
When she moved to Hatson, Wisconsin, from Maryville, Indiana, she knew her world ended. Hatson wasn't her home and her friends seemed too far away. Now, four years later, she was comfortable here. Her grades were among the top in her class. Her friends were just as close as her friends in Maryville had been. And her minor disagreements with Harry soon became discussions easily forgotten after a few minutes. They'd actually grown close over the past four years.
With her eighteenth birthday just two weeks away, she wondered if they would remain close once his guardianship ended.
"Curtain in five minutes--curtain in five minutes," Ralph Miller called from outside the door.
The first act went smoothly as it did for the two previous nights. Before she knew it, she was back in the dressing room. She just slipped on the white-fringed dress when a knock at the door interrupted her.
"Are you girls all decent in here?" the choir director called. She entered the room.
"There's a gentleman who wants to speak with Jeni."
"With me? Why?" Jeni asked.
"You'll see. Don't look so terrified. It's something rather special." Mrs. Janish's eyes sparkled and her smile put Jeni at ease.
Jeni looked back at the girls in the room and shrugged her shoulders, raising her eyebrows, as she followed Mrs. Janish into the hallway.
"Miss Barrett," the man said. "My name is Mitchell Dallman. I'm the manager for Tony LaMont. Tony is in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area looking for a female vocalist, and I'd like to have you audition for him tomorrow afternoon."
"Me? Audition for Tony LaMont? You're kidding me! What's the joke?" Jeni's tone was one of disbelief.
"There's no joke. We've been auditioning all week. This afternoon at lunch an old friend of mine suggested I come and hear you sing. I figured if you were half as good as he said you were Tony should hear you. After seeing the first act, I've decided you aren't half as good as he said, you're ten times better."
"Thank you, Mr. Dallman, but..."
"I know, you'd like to talk this over with your parents, but I'm afraid time is short. Tony has to fly to the coast on Monday afternoon. The auditions were due to end at noon today, but I persuaded him to wait until I was able to hear you this evening to make any decisions. You can bring your parents if you'd like."
"My parents are deceased. I would like to bring my brother Harry. He's my legal guardian."
"Then you'll come. Good. Here is the audition piece and the address of the hotel. We'll see you at say three tomorrow afternoon?"
"Yes. Thank you, thank you, Mr. Dallman."
Jeni shook his hand and returned to the dressing room, clutching the music, too much in shock to even look at the piece.
"What did he want, Jeni?" Her best friend
Suellen Graham asked as she walked back into the room.
"I'll tell you later. I have to talk to Harry first."
The call for the second act left no time for further questions.