Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Interview & $20 Gift Card Giveaway: A Dance to Die by Rebecca Lee Smith

Original Title: A Dance to Die
Author: Rebecca Lee Smith
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press 
Published Date: April 20th 2012
Genre: Romantic suspense

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-fiancĂ©e 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.”

“No, I—”

“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.”


Is there an inspiration behind why you chose writing? 

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. That sounds a little narcissistic, I guess. But once I started writing, creating characters in my head became addictive.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?

A nurse. For some reason, I thought the pointy little white hats, which they don’t even wear anymore, looked cool. But later, in high school, two stomach churning weeks as a Candy Striper at the local hospital made me realize a career in medicine was not in the cards.

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is..

Little Women. Growing up, that book meant so much to me. I read it over and over again. Most of my writer friends identify with Jo, the writer. But I always wanted to be Amy. She gets to travel the world, wear great clothes, and marry the guy next door.

What are your current literary works?  Any sneak peaks?

I’m busy revising a romantic mystery I wrote a couple of years ago that takes place in East Tennessee at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. My elderly mother was ill at the time, and I wrote it while I was her caretaker, resulting in a lot of stops and starts. I pulled it out a few months ago and found that the main characters were a lot different than I remembered. They had changed right along with me. But in a good way, I hope. I’m also working on a contemporary romance in a small southern town. (Is there any other kind?) All of my books have humor in them, but I thought it was time I tried writing a non-mystery. So far, I’m 100 pages in, and it looks like a dead body is going show up whether I want it to or not.

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

Are you kidding? I’ve seen Aliens and THX-1138 too many times to ever venture into the future. Give me the past any day. Especially if it takes place in England at Downton Abbey (upstairs, please) or Pemberley. New York at the turn of the century would be nice, too.

Which topics would you like to explore in your future books (assuming there are more to come)?

The fish-out-of-water story. People who want to fit in, but can’t seem to find a way, have always fascinated me. Especially people who, after finally accepting themselves for who they are, find their own special niche in the world—and in someone else’s heart.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Because you might enjoy a romantic mystery with a bit of suspense, a lot of snappy dialogue, a quick-witted heroine you can root for, and a smart, sexy, hero who will capture your heart.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Finally having the answer I’ve dreamed of giving to the question, “And what do you do?”

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Never, ever, ever give up. A few years ago, a different manuscript of mine received over 80 rejections from agents and publishers. If I’d given up then, and stopped sending my work out into the world, I would have never gotten published. Sometimes luck and having your manuscript land on the right desk at the right time is what it takes, but you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Persuasion, by Jane Austen. One of my favorite books. I would hate wearing the corsets, but I think I could pull off a few of those burning, longing looks the hero and heroine give each other from across the room. At least, I’d like to try.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Rebecca. Oh, sorry. That one’s already been used. LOL. A more thoughtful answer might be Open Mind, Open Heart. Yeah. I like that.

What is your favorite scene in the book and why do you love it?

Annabel and Trent’s first meeting. She’s sitting high atop a ladder adjusting the spotlights when he storms in looking for his brother and discovers there’s a supper club where the carriage house used to be. I love the repartee between them, the electricity zinging back and forth as they size each other up, their first impressions, the second round of impressions when they realize they respect each other’s intelligence.

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?

Millionaire Matchmaker.

What books do you most recommend to friends?

Anything by Kristan Higgins or Elizabeth Berg.

One food you would never eat?

Rocky Mountain Oysters.


Favorite place?

Best Christmas present?
A cocker spaniel named Lady.

Favorite book?
The Great Gatsby

Favorite author?
Elizabeth Berg

Favorite smell?
My husband’s neck.

Favorite series?
The Watcher Series by Lilith Saintcrow

Anything but Becky.

Favorite writing spot?
The kitchen table, two blocks from the beach, Kill Devil Hills, NC.

Favorite movie?
To Kill a Mockingbird.           

Favorite dish?
Butterscotch pie, big spoon.

Favorite color?
Cobalt blue.

Favorite quote?
“Happiness is wanting what you have.”

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Heath Bar Blizzard, big spoon.

Your best trait?
Making people laugh. 

Your worst trait?
Hanging on to past resentments. Still working on that one.


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.


Rebecca will be giving away a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.




  1. Fun quick answers. I would love to visit Tuscany.

    I love reading PERSUASION too.


    1. You would love it, marybelle. Tuscany is as beautiful as a post card everywhere you look. The Italian men aren't bad either. LOL.

  2. Thank you for hosting Rebecca today!

  3. I think this story sounds exciting and romantic. A mystery romance after my own heart.

  4. I love To Kill A Mockingbird too...gotta love Gregory Peck, always!


    1. Gregory Peck is the best. I also adore him in
      ROMAN HOLIDAY and ARABESQUE. I love the book, too.

  5. Thank you Rebecca
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  6. It sounds like a great first meeting between Trent and Annabel!

    1. Thanks, cait045. I love first meetings in most romances. It sets the tone and makes me wonder how it's all going to play out.

  7. The Great Gatsby is your favorite book? I am part of a community partnership that applied for (and received) a BIG READ grant to have The Great Gatsby as our shared community read in the Fall. My job will be "selling" it to our very diverse student population.

    And about the pointy nurse hats...Our nursing students wear their dress uniforms when they take their class picture and also at their nurse pinning ceremony and they look so GREAT! I love the hats, too!

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi, Catherine. Have you seen the trailer for the new GATSBY movie with Leonardo di Caprio and Carey Mulligan? I think it looks great. That might be a way of selling the book to your students. Also, I've found out that many nurses still wear their dress uniforms every day with pride.

  8. Thank you, this sounds like my type of book.

  9. After reading this interview, A Dance to Die seems to be right up my alley since my favourite genres have always been romance and mystery and this book seems to have both :)
    email: laracilia@hotmail.com

  10. It sounds like something I would read.

  11. Sounds like she has done it all- so im sure her material is plenty interesting point of view! Thanks for a super giveaway!
    My email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  12. This book sounds great! I'd love to read it :)

  13. Great interview and book excerpt! I love To Kill a Mocking Bird (book + movie), too. Thank you for the giveaway!


  14. Loved the interview and the quick answers.


  15. The book seems great! Another add to my tbr pile!

  16. Seems cool, nice interview!
    Thanks for the giveaway!


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