Inspired by the Josh Groban song by the same title, this book is about a young woman with a "disability" who loves dance, and has a dream to be able to dance. She is given the opportunity to fulfill that dream, and we see the struggles and triumphs she faces to overcome the challenges to achieve her goals; and how she and her dreams, affect those around her in her every day life.
Talitha McDermmet, sometimes called Tallie, is 21 years old and is an at-knee amputee. (I'm still trying to determine whether it's just one leg or both.) She has been going to college in the town next to her home town, but is taking this year, between her Sophomore and Junior years, off to save up more money to finish school. She lives in an apartment near the college campus, which she shares with her cat. She works at a local small, but very successful, bookshop, and makes enough to live and save a little, but still has to be careful with her money. She loves dance, and has always had a longing to learn in spite of her "disability", so she's excited when she is given that opportunity, and is determined to succeed in her dreams.
Daniel Killman is 22 years old, and is Talitha's boyfriend. He and Talitha grew up next door to each other and played together a lot. Daniel was going to school for computer programming and technology, and was half way through his Junior year at college, when his parents were killed by a drunk driver, and he had to put school on hold to take care of his little sister. Now he works in an electronics store, and he and his sister live in an apartment one floor above Talitha's.
Michelle Killman is 19 years old, is Daniel's little sister, and was half way through her Senior year of high school when her parents died. She now lives with her brother and is half way through her Freshman year of college, where she is going for Drama and English Lit. Every summer, since she was sixteen, she has worked for a reputable Christian modeling agency doing catalog, hair, and makeup shoots. She's not comfortable doing runway fashion.
Melissa Pakulski is 21 years old and has been Talitha's best friend since their Freshman year of high school. She married her husband right after graduation, and waited a year before starting college- where she is attending for a medical degree in Pediatrics. During the evening she works part time at a big chain retail/grocery store. She and her husband live in the apartment across the hall from Talitha.
Matthew Pakulski is 31 years old and is Melissa's husband. He works at the small local branch of a big production company as a camera man and sound mixer. He is, sometimes, called upon to direct, and helps take care of a lot production needs at the college.
Mr. Jonathan North is 35 years old, and is Matthew's boss. He's the manager of the studio, but also takes on directing and executive directing from time to time. It was while directing a shoot at the college that he saw Talitha dancing while goofing off with some of her friends. After talking with her, Mr. North was inspired to set up the finances for Talitha to take dancing lessons, feeling that she should have a chance at her dreams no matter what physical obsticles may be in her way. He takes an active role in tracking Talitha's progress, and continues to be a source of encouragement to her.
Mr. David Bradford is 37 years old, is Matthew's cousin, and is an instructor of ballet and ballroom at the local dance school. After Mr. North talks to him about his idea for Talitha, Matthew addresses Mr. Bradford about taking Talitha as one of his students. Mr. Bradford gladly accepts, as he has always been an advocate for the physically challenged to be able to take part in dance, even if they have to do things differently, and looks forward to the challenge. He is tough but fair, and is kind and encouraging.
Dominic Chase is 22 years old, and is the best dancer of any style in the whole dance school's professional company. His abilities have gained him widespread recognition, which has gone to his head, making him rather arrogant and stuck up. He does not like to associate with people he does not think worthy of his attentions, so when Mr. Bradford pairs him up with Talitha (in hopes that he will giver her the best help possible, and that she will help him learn humility) he is revolted. He refuses to work with her, at first, but, when he is given no other option, he grudgingly agrees- constantly complaining that she slows him down. He comes from a fairly well-to-do family and the only job he has ever been able to keep is serving at the local coffee shop, because coffee is his second love- and it allows him to flirt.
Ms. Katelyn Lewis is 28 years old and is Mr. Bradford's girlfriend. She does all the piano accompaniment for Mr. Bradford's classes, and teaches Home Ecinomics, on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings at the local Christian school, for homeschoolers- or any other local students who would like to participate. She is very sweet and rather quiet, and has become a bit of a confidant to the girls in her classes and at the dance school; but she is in no way a pushover. Because she looks so much younger than she is, she is frequently mistaken to be one of her students.
Koomie is Talitha's cat. He is seven human years old, and is a gold tabby. Talitha picked out his name to finish off a pun on her own name. He likes to rough house and cuddle and pretty much get in the way. He love getting rubbed under his chin and his arms. He also likes to sit in the middle of the apartment and meow very loudly, just to hear his voice, which often gets Talitha in trouble with the landlord, even though housepets are allowed. He also likes to gallop around the apartment at top speed, at random times. He likes getting into what minor mischief he can, and will sometimes pick fights with Talitha. He also likes to sleep a lot, and thinks he's the lord of the manor. Basically....he's all cat! (Except when he chases and tries to catch his tail, like a dog.)
Thank you to my friends who let me use their pictures to represent my characters. At least I actually asked this time! ;-P
Koomie is pictured by, and honestly represented as, my last cat, Pumpkin, whome I love and miss very much.