A Dance To Die For
by Rebecca Lee Smith
Genre: Contemporary romantic thriller
Format: paperback (294 pages); eBook (396 KB)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press; Crimson Rose edition (April 19, 2012)
Blurb: Annabel Maitland believes in destiny and following her heart—Trent Sheffield realizes his destiny is to believe in her. Annabel destroyed her Broadway dancing career trying to save her friend Quinn's life. Convinced Quinn’s death was no accident, Annabel follows a clue to a North Carolina mountain inn and discovers that everyone who knew Quinn—the real Quinn—wanted her out of their lives, including the sexy innkeeper whose laid-back charm and megawatt grin take Annabel's breath away. The physical attraction between them is undeniable, the cerebral attraction irresistible. But trusting her heart means ignoring evidence that plants him firmly on the list of suspects.
Determined to keep his family’s financially strapped inn afloat, the last person Trent needs working for him is a stubborn, impossibly long-legged dancer whose sharp wit and silver eyes keep him scrambling to stay on his toes. He's falling hard, and he wants to trust her, but Annabel's connection to his ex-fiancée makes him question her motives at every turn. When a string of mysterious accidents threaten Annabel’s life, they must unearth Quinn's killer before it's too late. But what if Annabel was the target all along?
Guest Post by Rebecca Lee Smith
Reader Girls: I recently attended an author's panel and one writer was also a dancer. She said she writes with movement like she's dancing. Since the main character of A Dance To Die For, Annabel, is a dancer, I was wondering if you also write with movement. Can you share how your story was developed?
Writing with movement? I'm not exactly sure what that means. I think every writer writes with movement. If they don't, the story they're trying to tell is going to be as stagnant as pond water. The last thing an author wants is for the reader's eyes to glaze over (or close) out of sheer boredom. I do have a certain natural rhythm when I'm crafting dialogue--the snap, the timing, the rise and fall, the way it volleys back and forth. That's a kind of movement, I guess. I thought the cadence and pace of my dialogue, interspersed with tag lines and description, represented the manner in which my "voice" translated on paper. But now that I think about it, all those years I spent working in community and professional theater, speaking and interpreting other people's words, must have influenced me more than I knew. I've acted in and directed over 120 productions, and I feel very comfortable writing dialogue, but for some reason, have no interest in writing plays. I have friends who do it, and do it well. I'm in awe of them, but it's not for me. When I write (and read), I love getting caught up in someone else's world.
I always wanted to be a dancer, but I was a chubby kid, and my mother thought dance lessons were a colossal waste of time and money. She was probably right, but, ironically, I ended up acting in about ten musical comedies, and had to learn those dance steps like everybody else. Pretty rudimentary stuff, but not so easy without any formal training. For a while, Ben Gay became my new best friend. That time of my life did provide me with a background of show dancing I could use as a reference point for A Dance to Die For, and gave me an inkling of what a real dancer's life might be like. I made the heroine of A Dance to Die For an off-Broadway dancer who started dancing too late to have much of a career, but had the guts to go for it anyway, Plunking her down into the middle of one of my favorite places on earth, the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, and giving her a murder to solve and a great guy to fall in love with, really appealed to me. And since I've always been drawn to mysteries and suspense, (my mother named me after the book, Rebecca), after figuring out the bulk of the plot, developing the story just kind of fell into place.
An excerpt from A Dance To Die For:
Something zinged past Annabel.
It cut and ruffled the new growth of hickory leaves beside her shoulder, like a bird soaring through the trees at warp speed. Her head jerked around. Trent was running toward her with his arms airborne, his beige raincoat ballooned behind him like a cape.
He pushed her off the path, then hit the ground sideways. He slid into the underbrush, shoulder first, and roughly pulled her down on top of him.
Another high-pitched crack echoed across the meadow.
Trent's hard body jolted beneath her.
He enveloped her in his arms and rolled her to the side, pressing her head into his broad chest. The musky scent of his aftershave mingled with the pungent tang of dried weeds and earth sent her senses into overload. The weight of his muscular thighs pushing against her equally muscular thighs sent a shudder pulsing through her. “It's okay,” he whispered. “I've got you.”
They lay motionless in the tall warm grass, side by side, for what seemed an eternity. Until the only sounds she could hear were the soft, protesting whir of insects and the rapid, steady thumping of his heart.
Annabel lifted her head and stared at the line of dark stubble along his chin. “What the hell was that?”
“Probably a poacher.”
“A poacher? Are you serious? Here?”
He loosened his grip on her shoulders. “The forest across the road belongs to the inn. There's no fence. All we can do is post No Hunting signs and hope for the best.”
“So, how do your guests feel about dodging bullets? I bet this place stays packed.”
Her two grown sons live nearby, still have the power to make her laugh until she cries, and will always be the best things she’s given back to the world. It took her a lot of years to realize that writing was her true passion. When she’s not churning out sensual romantic mysteries with snappy dialogue and happy endings, she loves to travel the world, go to the Outer Banks for her ocean fix, watch old movies, hang out at the local pub, and make her day complete by correctly answering the Final Jeopardy! Question.
Rebecca will be giving away a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour as well as to the host with the most comments (excluding the host's and the author's). The tour dates can be found here.