Please help me welcome The Wild Rose Press author, Rebecca Lee Smith to Novel Natterings.
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).
Stop in on other stops in her tour to increase your chances of winning! Thanks Rebecca!
Welcome Rebecca! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I live with my husband in the beautiful misty mountains of east Tennessee. I have been everything from a tax collector to a stay-at-home-mom to a house painter to a professional actress and director. I love old movies, hanging out at the local pub (especially on Trivia Tuesday), and travelling. A Dance to Die For is the fifth manuscript I completed before selling.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think it was when I finally typed “The End” on the first book I wrote. That book, which never saw the light of day, taught me I could write a book and finish it. It showed me what it took, intellectually and emotionally, to write a book, and gave me the confidence to believe that if I could finish one, I could finish two.Great answer! Do you remember what inspired you to write your first book?
I spent years working in the trenches of professional and community theater. When my kids were small, and I couldn’t leave them every night for rehearsal, I needed another creative outlet to keep me sane. I had always been a great reader, and as far back as grade school secretly wished I could check out a book with my name on the cover as author. It wasn’t easy, because I really didn’t know what I was doing. But once I started writing, creating characters in my head became addictive.
I love call stories. Can you tell us about yours and your reaction?
In my case, “The Call” was an email. Previously, I’d gotten very close to publication with two other books. A well-known publisher asked for revisions on one of them, then kept the revised manuscript for thirteen months and rejected me with a form letter, so I had become pretty jaded about the whole submission process. I kept writing and sending things out, but after years of rejection, I had stopped expecting the heavens to open. When I read the email offering me a contract for A Dance to Die For, I read it three times, then burst into tears. My son heard me crying, and came rushing in to see what was wrong. I just kept pointing at the computer screen. Then we both started laughing. What a day! It still seems unreal.
*Big grin* A day to remember for sure! What drew you to write romance?
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. I love romantic comedies, too, but when I write, I find it easier to propel the plot against a mystery/suspense backdrop and keep the conflict alive between the hero and heroine.
What’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you?
Butt in chair, hands on keys. And plotting. I drive myself crazy plotting.
What are you working on right now?
I’m revising a manuscript I wrote a couple of years ago when my mother was ill. At the time, it seemed very disjointed because I was distracted and tired, and my mind wasn’t firing on all cylinders. I wrote the entire book except for the last two chapters and shelved it. Since I’ve gone back to it, I’ve changed quite a few things, including the heroine’s personality, and feel I’m finally on the right track. I’m also working on a contemporary romantic comedy, but, as usual, a dead body is lurking somewhere in the shadows, threatening to make an appearance.
Who wants to read the blurb and excerpt of A Dance to Die For? Me too! Here they are:
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?
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.”
Ooo! That sounds wonderful! Where can we find you and your books?
Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your new release with us Rebecca! I'll be seeing you out and about on the rest of your tour!