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Authors: Paddy Eger

When the Music Stops

BOOK: When the Music Stops
11.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Praises for Paddy Eger’s
84 Ribbons

Author Paddy Eger realistically portrays the daily life of a professional ballet dancer in this wonderful coming of age novel. The setting of 1950’s America adds to the appeal of the story.

Cheryl Schubert

This was a very good coming of age story that follows Martha Selbryth as she attempts to follow her dream of becoming a professional ballerina.

Courtney Brooks
(Net Galley Reviewer)

It’s a realistic look into the struggle of making it dancing professionally, including the pain, blood, sweat, and tears required, as well as the devotion to perfection. Marta doesn’t have an easy ride at the Intermountain Ballet Company, but she’s determined to prove herself and succeed.’s more than just a ballet book.

Leeanna Chetsko
(Net Galley Reviewer)

I loved this short book’s quiet, deceptively simple voice; its strong sense of time and place (Billings, Montana in 1957); and the timelessness of its topics and themes, which include moving away from home, making friends and enemies, and dealing with first love, loneliness, temptations, and career decisions. It is squeaky clean in terms of language and content yet also candid about things like eating disorders.

Hope Baugh

As a former bunhead who grew up in Washington, I thought this book was both credible and enjoyable.

Amy Anderson

Praises for Paddy Eger’s
84 Ribbons

This was a great look into the world of ballet. This would be entertaining for readers of all ages from teen to adult.

Jessica Rockhey

...Overall, this book was a pleasant surprise. It is the best ballet book I have read in a long, long time and I’m excited to see that Paddy Eger has a follow up planned as I’m keen to see what happens next.

Trish Hartigan
(Net Galley Reviewer)

84 Ribbons is a real story for young adult ballet fans. It’s not one of those melodramas all about some hot boy. ...
This was one of the better YA theatre/sport oriented books I’ve read.
...If you liked the Drina books by Jean Estoril or Girl in Motion by Miriam Wenger-Landis; then I’d also recommend this book to you.

Sonya Heaney
(Net Galley Reviewer)

I could see the whole thing unfold in front of me like a movie. ...I will continue to think about this story for a good while, it’s just one of those books. ...Thank you thank you thank you for the opportunity to read this beautiful story!

Holly Harkins
(Net Galley Reviewer)

I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Wintergirls” in a great way. ...I loved how ballet provided the framework, but how the characters really took over. ...We’ll be ordering a copy for multiple collections.

Stephanie Nicora
(Net Galley Reviewer)

When the Music Stops

Dance On

Paddy Eger



When the Music Stops—Dance On

Copyright © 2015 Paddy Eger. All Rights Reserved.


Published by Tendril Press™

Denver, CO



This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, or persons, living or deceased, is entirely coincidental.


All images, logos, quotes, and trademarks included in this book are subject to use according to trademark and copyright laws of the United States of America.


No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Tendril Press and Paddy Eger. The material in this book is furnished for informational use only and is subject to change without notice. Tendril Press assumes no responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear in the documents contained in this book.



ISBN 978-0-9858933-7-8


Library of Congress Control Number: 2015932943



First Publishing: September 15, 2015

Printed in the United States of America



Author Photo by: Yuen Lui

Lynnwood, WA



Cover Photo by


Art Direction, Book Design and Cover Design
© 2013. All Rights Reserved by

A. J. Business Design & Publishing Center Inc. — 303•696•9227

[email protected]



To all who love ballet.
May it fill your heart and soul with joy

Dance is the hidden language of the soul.

— Martha Graham


arta straightened her shoulders, gathered her belongings, and descended the metal stairs onto the train station platform. She glanced at the crescent moon that hung in the darkness above the depot roof and briefly closed her eyes. Her injured ankle throbbed as she hobbled through the crush of tired-looking travelers and entered the waiting room. Only two people waited inside the depot. Neither was her mother.

A uniformed man stood on a platform high above the large room beside an illuminated clock which read 12:21. He adjusted the removable lettering to read the new day’s date: May 28, 1958. She’d left Billings, Montana, less than twenty-four hours ago, but the absence of her friends already stung.

The porter took his time pushing the overloaded cart into the waiting room. Once he’d unloaded the cart inside a roped off area, passengers crowded forward to redeem their bags and hurry out the exit. No mom, no rush. Marta waited until the area cleared, then collected her two bags and checked the clock again: 12:35. She bit her lip as she scanned the waiting area. Where was her mom?

A tall, thin man entered from the street and looked around. Whoever he planned to meet didn’t appear to be there. He hurried to the ticket counter.

“Marta Selbryth to the ticket counter,” boomed the PA system.

As she approached the counter, the man smiled. “Hi, Marta. I’m Elle’s friend, Robert Marsden.” He handed her a folded paper. “Your mother sent this note. She had an emergency with the costume delivery. I’m here to drive you home.”

Marta gave him a quick once-over as she opened the note. He didn’t look like she’d pictured him. He was taller than her dad had been, and younger. He looked pleasant.

I am so sorry I’m not there to meet you. Robert volunteered to drive you home. The delivery truck carrying our costumes broke down in northern California three days ago. With the recital in two days, I need to take delivery whenever it arrives tonight. I’ll see you soon.
Welcome home!

Marta’s excitement to be home withered. Her spoiled child pout crept onto her face, so she swallowed down her disappointment and replaced it with a stage smile. “Shall we go?”

“Do you want to stop and call her? I saw a pay phone by the exit.”

“No. It’s okay.”

Robert gathered up her luggage, turned, and moved toward the exit. Her uneven gait beside his long strides made her feel five years old. Great. No mom and now a near-stranger who moves as fast as a marathon walker. Welcome home, self.

The white face of the Union Station clock lit up the otherwise dark Tacoma skyline. They traveled north, passing Stadium High School with its castle-like appearance. It reminded her of twelve months ago when she’d been in Tacoma. She’d had dinner at the Towers with her neighbor Leo before they attended her senior prom. That felt like years ago.

“Few red lights to stop us,” Robert said. “One benefit of driving late.”

“Same thing happens in Billings,” Marta said, “but there are fewer signals and a lot less people driving around even on busy days.”

“I doubt you’ll see many changes in Bremerton over the past nine months beyond an exchange of Navy vessels in the shipyard. You’re back in time for the beginning of the Saturday markets.”

“That’s good,” she said. “Has my mom planted her garden yet?”

“Only set onions and lettuce. I think she’s waiting until things dry out before she puts the rest in the ground. She joked about not wanting her seeds to float away.”

As they approached the Narrows Bridge, Marta leaned forward to view the bright lights illuminating the sweeping spans. “I love this bridge.”

“Your mom told me you called this the fairy bridge.”

“I did. I thought a magical land waited beyond the darkness.”

“Maybe it does,” Robert said. “It’s taking you home.”

“It’s good to be back.” Marta felt rather than saw the shelter of evergreens guarding the roadside. She rolled down the window and inhaled the aroma of Douglas fir and pines. The salt-laden air felt thicker here than the dust-filled air of Billings.

She leaned back and closed her eyes. Soon she felt the car stop. When she opened her eyes they sat in front of her family home. She jerked herself upright. How on earth had she slept through the hour-long drive?

“Sorry I fell asleep. Thanks for driving me home.”

“No problem. I know it’s been a difficult couple of weeks for you. One day after you’re settled in we’ll have time to get acquainted.”

BOOK: When the Music Stops
11.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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