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The Not-Ready-for-Juilliard Players

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A literary musical mystery released in April 2016 by Rocking Horse Publishing.

See separate page here for a book guide.




“Just finished book. The-Not-Ready-For-Julliard Players. Notably good read, highly recommended.”— Debbie Manber Kupfer, author of the P.A.W.S. fantasy series.

5-Star Amazon & Goodreads Review: By Paws on September 18, 2017

Notably good!: Loved this book. Very different from the normal books I read, but very worth it. Felt totally immersed and invested in the lives of music students and Duggan made me truly care about the outcome.

Very well written with huge attention to detail. Highly recommended.

“I was the lucky winner of a copy of this novel through a Goodreads win. It is a novel about 4 music college friends who are bound with each other over an abusive teacher. It is about power and authority and how those can be used to intimidate others. … A nice little read with lots of music references in it.” — Goodreads reader from Toronto. (4-star) 5/25/17

“Solid Story: Very well written and if you have a musical background, you will understand the nuances of what these characters went through during schooling; I do not have that background, but the story was entertaining, nonetheless.” — Pieper, Amazon Review (5 stars) 7/7/16

“Great book for your book club: Very cleverly written.” — G. Benson, Amazon Review (5 stars) 1/31/17

“Meticulously researched, sensitively written — not a word out of place.” — Catherine, Goodreads review (3 stars) 7/4/17


Available at


The Book House, 7352 Manchester Rd, Maplewood, MO  63143

The Not-Ready-for-Juilliard Players is a National Novel Writing Month novel from 2010.

**Note: The original publisher has gone out of business effective 12/31/17. I am in the process of getting the book republished elsewhere. Contact me through the About page about purchasing a copy directly.


When a 15-year-old girl suddenly finds herself endowed with talents she didn’t have before, she embarks on a quest to learn how she acquired these gifts and why. Along the way she learns that her ability to play piano, do complicated mathematics, exercise photographic recall and perform other skills can benefit not only herself but others. And what she finds cuts to the core of her identity.


The first time it happened, my mom looked at me like “what the —” Well, she eyed me like I had just sprouted two extra heads. I have to admit, I was dazed and confused myself, to quote one of my grandpa’s favorite songs.

We were at an estate sale way across town. For some reason, Mom wanted to go to this particular sale and she talked me into going along. I’d just been getting into vinyl records, and she enticed me with the possibility of some vinyl. …

I went back to the music room, sat down on the piano bench and started plunking. Then the strangest thing happened. I started playing. I mean, really playing — a real piece. It sounded familiar, but I had no idea what it was. That wasn’t my major concern at the moment. I was playing the piano! Did I mention that I didn’t know how to play the piano?

Pitching Touch to agents and publishers is in progress.

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