Please join me in welcoming Rebecca Lee Smith on her Virtual Book Tour for "A Dance to Die For". Rebecca was kind enough to do a short interview and answer my questions below. Please be sure to leave a comment or question for her below as she will be giving away a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
My Interview with Rebecca:
Me: Can you tell us what inspired you to write "A Dance to Die For"?
Rebecca: I spent years (and years) in professional and community theater, acting, directing, running tech, building sets. I wanted to write about that world and the people in it, both good and bad, because I know it so well. I always wanted to be a dancer, but I was a chubby kid, and my mother wouldn’t let me take lessons. So, I made the heroine of A Dance to Die For a Broadway dancer who started dancing too late to have much of a career, but had the guts to go for it anyway. Plunking a dancer 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.
Me: Have you had dance training yourself? Or a background in dance?
Rebecca: I have acted in about ten musical comedies, and even though I never had any formal training, I had to learn those dances just like everybody else. Not so easy when you’re huffing and puffing and trying to remember whether to turn left or right. I recommend making friends with the choreographer, and hope they go easy on you.
Me: Are you currently writing full time?
Rebecca: Yes, my kids are grown, and I’m lucky enough to have that luxury. I’m easily distracted though, especially when there’s a writing/plotting problem to solve, and still have trouble keeping my butt in the chair. I have the utmost admiration for writers who are in the trenches raising kids and working full time, and still have the dedication and energy to get their pages done each day.
Me: Has sensual romantic suspense always been what you wanted to write? Do you plan to write in any other genres?
Rebecca: I’ve always loved romantic suspense. I’m sure it’s because of all those gothics I devoured in my youth. My books tend to gravitate more toward mystery than suspense, probably because I love puzzles so much, but I have to scare the bejezus out of the heroine at least a few good times during the course of the book, or it isn’t any fun at all. For a long time, I didn’t realize I wrote “sensual” stories; I only knew that I couldn’t write graphic sex scenes without feeling foolish. I wish I could. I’ve tried, but they just end up sounding incredibly stupid to me, and anything but hot. Instead, I get the hero and heroine in a clinch and either fast forward to the next morning or let them go as far as they can without actually putting Tab A into Slot B. I love romantic comedy, and have written about a hundred pages in that genre so far. But, as usual, something seems to be missing without a dead body, and one may make an appearance soon.
Me: Which writers inspired you to write yourself?
Rebecca: I discovered gothic mysteries my junior year in high school—Daphne du Maurier (I was named after Rebecca), Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart, and there was a lot to read because some of those ladies cranked out one or two a year. Later, writers like the great Nora Roberts, Antoinette Stockenberg, Gillian Roberts (love her Amanda Pepper mysteries), and Jenna Ryan inspired me to keep going.
Me: Favorite authors to read? What are you currently reading?
Rebecca: I read a lot of different genres. I’ll read anything by Elizabeth Berg or Kristin Higgins. I also love reading urban fantasy by Lilith Saintcrow and Devon Monk. But for pure, unadulterated, how-the-hell-did-she-think-of-that mystery, I still go back to Dame Agatha. I mean, how many of us can read a Christie book and guess the ending? Right now, I’m reading The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie. So funny.
Me: Can you tell us what you are currently working on and possibly share a snippet?
Rebecca: I’m revising a romantic mystery I wrote two years ago when my mother was ill, and I was her caretaker. The book, and my life, was very disjointed at the time, and I wrote the whole book except for the last two chapters, then shelved it. When I got it out again, I realized that the heroine was much different than I remembered her, and not in a good way. I’ve altered her personality to make her stronger, wittier, and less interested in pleasing anyone she doesn’t trust. This time around, she’s found her voice.
1. Coffee or Tea? Coffee
2. Chocolate or Strawberry? Caramel
3. Favorite old movie? A tossup between To Kill a Mockingbird and I Know Where I’m Going
4. Favorite vacation spot? Italy
5. Wine or beer? Wine
Thank you to Rebecca for answering my questions!
A Dance To Die For
by Rebecca Lee Smith
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?
Why was he trying to push the image of Annabel's face out of his mind while his eyes scanned the yard for a glimpse of her? He might as well be on a bus with no brakes, careening down the side of a mountain.
He looked up, and his heart lurched.
Annabel stood in the doorway with the morning light spilling across her face. The faint, sweet scent of cucumber aloe soap drifted toward him. He'd smelled it thousands of times, ordered it by the caseload for the guests, but he never knew how intoxicating it could be.
“Gil's not here? I thought Keisha said he—”
“You just missed him.”
“Oh.” She hesitated. “Well...sorry I bothered you.”
“Come on in.”
“I'm not gonna bite you, Annabel.” His head was pounding. Where was that bloody control he'd always counted on?
She walked across the room—floated, actually—and set a brown paper bag on his desk.
“What's this? Breakfast?”
“I found it on the front porch of my cabin.”
She opened the bag and pulled out a square white box, the kind the gift shop used for souvenir mugs. She opened it and lifted out a small red and white plastic bottle. Her hands were trembling. He wanted to take them in his, but instead, he took the bottle from her and gripped it as if it were a grenade he might lob though the window.
“It's a Curenol bottle,” she said flatly. “Someone besides you knows why I'm here.”
He popped open the child-proof cap and shook out a curl of white paper. He unwound it and read the scrawled message.
“You're looking in the wrong place.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Rebecca lives with her husband in the beautiful, misty mountains of East Tennessee, where the people are charming, soulful, and just a little bit crazy. She’s been everything from a tax collector to a stay-at-home-mom to a house painter to a professional actress and director. 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.
Don't forget to leave a comment or question below for Rebecca as she will be awarding a $20.00 Amazon GC to one random commenter during her tour.
You can follow her tour here.
Also check out my review of A Dance to Die For here.