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Honeycomb

De
152 pages
When Nat, her best friend Jess and singing-star wannabe Harper sing together, their harmonies bring down the house. For Nat, the experience sparks a driving new desire to perform. But when the girls form a trio and enter a contest for a chance to play at the Tall Grass Music Festival, Nat finds that harmony, musical and otherwise, is hard to maintain. Her bandmates almost never agree, her new boyfriend starts behaving more like a non-boyfriend, and the trio’s famous-musician mentor doesn’t even like the way Nat breathes. Every day, Nat’s dream of performing at Tall Grass seems farther away, and she questions whether she has what it takes to get there.
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HOnEyPCatroiciaMb McCowan
HOnEyCoMb Patricia McCowan
Copyright ©2014Patricia McCowan
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication McCowan, Patricia, author Honeycomb / Patricia McCowan. (Orca limelights)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459805798 (pbk.).isbn 9781459805804 (pdf). isbn 9781459805811 (epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca limelights ps8625.c69h65 2014 c813’.6 c20149015534  c20149015542
First published in the United States,2014 Library of Congress Control Number:2014935397
Summary:Nat loves to sing and hopes her newly formed trio will win a chance to play at a big music festival, but first she has to learn to trust her own voice—both on and off stage. Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design by Rachel Page Cover photography by Dreamstime
orca book publishers orca book publishers po Box 5626, Stn. B po Box 468 Victoria,bcCanada Custer,wausav8r 6s4 982400468 www.orcabook.com 171615144321
For my parenTs, who always encouraged my love of The arTs, no mater whaT.
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don’ àve buTerlîes în m somàc; ï àve I bîg àppîng peîcàns. ï’ve never been so nervous. ïn e dàrk bàcksàge o àn od curc àudîorîum, Hàrper sànds în ron o me, wàcîng e àc à’s beore ours. Se’s pued er dàrk, cur àîr îno à pîe on op o er eàd, ànd excîemen spàrks of er îke à meeor sower. Jess wàîs besîde me, rock-seàd às àwàs, er guîàr sung owàrd er bàck,er ànds în er eàns pockes. he ree o us àre e às àc on e às dà o Màrc-breàk musîc càmp, ànd ï’m opîng e àc onsàge wî never end. No becàuse Ive gus doîng àn à-orns versîon o “Smoke on e Wàer” îs greà. ï’s weîrd. Bu once Bràssed-Of îs done, we’re up.
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P A T R I C I A MCC O W A N
W àm ï so nervous? ï’ve sung în ron o ons o peope à scoo coîr compeîîons. Bu î’s eàs o bend în wî à coîr. ïn ree-pàr àrmon, î ï suck, ï’ sànd ou. ï’s e sàndîng ou ï’m àràîd o. Hàrper sàge-wîspers, “We àre so gonnà brîng e ouse down àter ese goos.” Se gànces à me, wînces, pus er ànds on m ceeks. “Nà. Gîrrîend. Breàe.” ï àke à deep breà. “Now pu our sàge àce on.” ï do m bes o smîe às î ï meàn î. ï càn’ e er ànd Jess down. “ï’s okà. ï’m good.” “You’re gonnà be more àn good, Nà. You’re gonnà be greà.We’regonnà be greà.” Se pus er àrm àround m souders. ï’ve known Hàrper on à week, bu àreàd se reàs me îke er bes rîend. Sî, ï ook o Jess—Jess ànd me ànd sîngîng àve gone ogeer sînce gràde one. “Hàrper’s rîg,” se sàs. he peîcàns în m somàc sop làppîng so àrd. Appàuse. e Bràssed-O gus bow ànd come bouncîng pàs us, îg-îvîng ànd îs-bumpîng one ànoer. Hàrper ros er ees.
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H O N E Y C O M B
Dàrre Bîsop, e eàd o e càmp, bounds ou o e àudîence ànd ono e sàge. he îgs sîne of îs wîre-ràmed gàsses ànd perec bàd eàd. “Wàs à no àwesome?” e sous. he àudîence càps. He gànces owàrd us, màkîng sure we’re reàd. Jess pus er guîàr îno posîîon. Hàrper àses à uge smîe. Se gràbs m wrîs ànd squeezes. ï càn’ e î î’s o reàssure me or o keep me rom boîng. Dàrre gîves us à umbs-up ànd urns bàck o e àudîence.Our àudîence. “o înîs o onîg’s sowcàse o errîIc oung musîcîàns, e’s wecome o e sàge ree veve-voîced gàs. hîs rîo coudn’ àgree on à nàme or eîr group”—e àudîence àugs, ànd Dàrre ràîses one ànd—“bu à’s okà, becàuse e on càme ogeer îs week, ànd e, e sure Ind àrmon wen e sîng. Làdîes ànd genemen, ï gîve ou Hàrper Neàe, Nààîe Bocuk ànd Jess Làonde.” Hàrper pus me îno e îg. Jess oows cose beînd. Peîcàns or no, î’s îme o sîng. Hàrper àkes cener sàge beînd e mîcro-pone, wî me ànd Jess lànkîng er. We’re îg
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P A T R I C I A MCC O W A N
ogeer în à brîg cîrce o îg. ï màkes Jess’s smoo bàck ponàî sîne. Hàrper’s càràme-coored skîn seems o gow. ï’m probàb à-învîsîbe besîde em, à wîsp bond àîr ànd pàe ees. Hàrper cozîes up o e mîc. “Feow musîc geeks ànd gods,” se sàrs, er voîce sîk, reàxed. A ome. “ï càn’ beîeve we’ve been ogeer or on à week. ï àreàd ees…ï don’ know, îke we’re à àmî.” Se sàdes er ees o ook ou à e oer musîcîàns, wo àve oîned e àudîence. “ïs à corn?” “No!” e ceeru e. Wow. Hàrper îs on à eàr oder àn Jess ànd me—se’s sîxeen—bu se càn bàner îke à pro. Down în e ron row, Dàrre beàms. Hàrper smîes ànd nods. “Coo, coo. So, o keep îs àmî-groove îng goîng, e gîrs ànd ï àve à song o sàre wî ou. Sound okà?” he àudîence wîses ànd ceers. ï quîe ceàr m roà ànd ope no one càn eàr m knees knockîng ogeer. “Swee,” Hàrper sàs. Se ooks over o Jess, wo smîes er eàsgoîng smîe às se srums e înro o “Four Srong Wînds.”
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H O N E Y C O M B
ï àke à breà, ànd we dîve îno e song. ï àve o wàc Hàrper’s ànd Jess’s mous o màke sure ï sà în snc, see e cues or wen o breàe. We worked àrd on îs à week, rom e momen on Mondà wen Dàrre dîscovered ow our voîces I ogeer o our pre-sow reeàrsà odà. ï remember no o pus e îger noes so e don’ sound àrs. Durîng e Irs corus, Hàrper’s Ingers àp m bàck—à în o move coser o er so our voîces med. M mou drîes ou. So muc o worr àbou. A eàs m knees àve sopped sàkîng. e second verse. Someîng sîs în me. he song àkes over. Jess’s voîce îs à deep curren or Hàrper ànd me o sàî on op o. ï’s sudden eàs o know wen o breàe. ï rîsk à ook à e àudîence—smîîng àces, à ew peope sîngîng sot àong. Everone îs ogeer în e song. Noîng màTers bu à o us rîg ere, rîg now, îvîng e musîc. And m voîce îs epîng o màke îs àppen. oo soon, e song ends. Jess’s às cord vîbràes în e àîr. hen, à beà o îck sîence. “hànk ou,” Hàrper murmurs îno e mîc.
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P A T R I C I A MCC O W A N
Ceers breàk e spe. Reîe wàses over me îke à swee, coo sower, ànd ï àug. ï dîd î. ï remembered e words, ï go e àrmonîes, ï dîdn’ suck. ïperformed. ï wàn o do îs àgàîn. No, ïhaveo do îs àgàîn. ï sànd ere, grînnîng, unî Dàrre wàves us orwàrd. “àke our bows!” ï pràcîcà  o e ron o e sàge, ànd e càppîng ges ouder. Hàrper ges ere nex. Se soos me à dàrk ook, reezîng me or à second, en smîes ou à e àudîence. Jess oîns us. We à od ànds ànd bow. As e càp-pîng dîes down, Hàrper pus er ànd àwà ànd bows à kîss o e àudîence, rîggerîng one às wàve o àppàuse. “hà’s ow î’s done,” se sàs so on ï càn eàr, ànd se eàds bàcksàge.
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