A Season to Dance Review, Author Interview and Giveaway!

Welcome to A Season to Dance Blog Tour

Hello friends! Please welcome Patricia Beal to the blog today! We are featuring her debut book today and it is a good one. She is an author that you want to keep an eye on, as I can see big things in the future for her!

About the Book

Title:  A Season to Dance

Author: Patricia Beal

Publisher:  Bling! Romance

Release Date:  May 9, 2017

Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction

Ballerina Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Met in New York and her future with fiancé Peter Engberg all figured out—until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, shows up in Georgia to dance with her and win her back. Claus kisses her after a rehearsal, a kiss Peter witnesses from the darkened audience. Convinced a kiss between Claus and Ana is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off his engagement with Ana. Rejected by Peter, and knowing Claus is dancing at the Met soon, Ana decides to repave her path to her dream. With her 2002 Thunderbird and Baryshnikov, an old dog crippled by arthritis, she moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own memories of Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company prove to be a high price for a shot at success.
Review
Let’s be honest about something. When you hear the words “debut novel” you tend to be a little worried. I’m always worried that the author just hasn’t caught their writing groove yet, and the plot will be a little shaky, or there won’t be any character development. In the Christian fiction field, I wonder if they’ve included the gospel in some way. And yes, there are times where I simply say, you know what? Maybe I don’t really have time to read that book until I hear what others have to say. Reading friends, I am here to tell you that you do not have to worry about that with this book.
First, there is ballet. I have loved the ballet since I was a little girl, attending the NYC Ballet performances in Saratoga every summer. During the ballet scenes it is blatanly obvious that the author has knowledge about ballet. Not only the movements, but the feel of the dancers, the tension between dancers, and the suffering of some of them. It was so realistic I felt as if I were watching ballet practice from the front row. Ms. Beal does a fantastic job of pulling you in these scenes and more.
This is such a touching story. Warning – you will probably want a box of tissues nearby. Just in case. There are some really emotional scenes that may make your eyes moisten up. And the closer I got to the end, the more wet my eyes became. Ana became a good friend of mine. The ups and downs life brought her was enough to drive anyone mad. But the best part of the book was really seeing her transformation. She started out as the almost self-preserving dancer, and changed into this loving, take care of others person. Her relationship with Jesus was defined periodically throughout the story, and I loved seeing these glimpses into her spiritual life. She kind of reminds me of a lot of people today, just not willing to take that jump.
 
I was stumped near the beginning. When the author transitioned from present time to past time, I didn’t realize what was happening at first. But, I thought she was creative by not saying the name of the husband. He is always referred to as her husband, until much later on in the story. So it leaves you wondering who Ana decided to marry? Which man in this crazy love triangle was she going to choose? I will say that I am glad that who she picked is who I thought she’d end up with.
Overall this was a wonderful book. Seeing Ana’s transformation was a joy to read about. And while every new author has a few stumbling blocks to get over, I’d say this one is well on her way. I look forward to what books are in the pipeline for Ms. Beal! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  Guest Post

 

7 Behind the Scenes Facts About Writing a Season to Dance

Welcome to the blog today!

Thank you so much for having me here! I’m so excited about this tour and about this stop. Your blog is lovely 😊

So, you asked me for “behind the scenes facts about writing the book.” Something about the word “facts” in the request got me thinking in directions I haven’t in a long time. I have a journalism background, so “facts” is a big deal. It’s different from behind the scenes stories, events, thoughts… We want facts.

Well, here we go.

  1. When I wrote the first draft of the novel (in 2011), Chapter 1 was chapter 26. Chapter 2 was the original chapter 1.

What happened? I’m a fan of chronological beginnings, but a Harlequin editor told me in 2012 that I had a frame problem in A Season to Dance. She used The Notebook as an example. Imagine Sparks opening his novel with the chronological beginning—the summer the young couple meets. The story would promise youthful romance, all tension would die when they reunite later in life, and there would be no way to then introduce Alzheimer’s (no tension left + breaking the promise of youthful romance). She encouraged me to use the same frame Sparks used to set the right tone and to maintain tension after late-act two reunion. It worked. Once I changed the frame, the story began to get attention and was understood for what it was—a love story and a journey, but not formula romance.

  1. Chapter 2 (back when it was still chapter 1) was read out loud at a writers’ meeting at Shakespeare & Company in Paris in the spring of 2012.

Not because it was awesome, but because I was there. Not kidding! I was living in Germany, was obsessed with the movie Midnight in Paris, and was visiting The City of Light often. In one of my day trips I figured I would go to a writers meeting at the famous bookstore, and just like in the U.S., the leader asked for volunteers to read their work. I couldn’t help it. I had to raise my hand. It was so cool. Bucket list moment.

  1. A Season to Dance didn’t start out as a Christian novel. It was borderline erotic romance because I began my writing journey clueless and lost.

I became a Christian during the writing of the novel because of the heartaches of the publishing process. When I finally understood the Gospel and surrendered to Christ, I realized I had to rewrite the whole story. My novel wasn’t just the story of a woman looking for love and professional success. It was about a woman trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with terribly misguided romantic and professional pursuits. She had to come to faith first. Then she could find sufficiency, love, and professional joy. Boom! God had me writing my own salvation story all along. Wow. Can’t make that stuff up. He’s awesome.

  1. The arthritic dog Baryshnikov is based on my real dog Kyllian.

Almost everything Barysh goes through, my girl Kyllian went through as I was writing the story. But I gave Barysh the closing I wish Kyllian had had. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are more details about the two dogs in the discussion questions portion of the book.

  1. I wrote several chapters on location.

I’m an Army wife, so we move and travel a lot. Or did. My husband retired from active duty last year. We’re back home at Fort Bragg now. Anyway… I wrote many of the Callaway Gardens chapters sitting at Callaway and many of the Germany chapters at my favorite kaffeehaus. I’ve also been to Prague and Mallorca. So, all you read in the novel is legit. As for my German? Meh… From the acknowledgements: “I grew up in New Hamburg, Brazil and lived in Germany twice, but my German is not very good. My son said it best a couple of years ago after I ordered three Burger King meals at the drive-thru of our neighborhood store in Idar-Oberstein: ‘We’ll see what we’ll get this time.’ I know a little. I researched a lot. Any mistakes in the German language in A Season to Dance are mine.”

  1. There are several autobiographical events and emotions in the novel—beyond the journey to Christ. But I’m a bit more pathetic, I’m afraid…

I danced pre-professionally in three continents, but never earned a penny dancing ballet. Not one. I never made it to the professional level. So it was awesome to make Ana (~me) a pro, even if not the best. Oh, and I never had a Baryshnikov lookalike and/or a Blake Shelton lookalike fighting over me. I did manage to land a handsome paratrooper who’s been putting up with my writing madness and other insanities for more than twelve years now.

  1. During the publishing process I was diagnosed with Asperger’s—a kind of autism.

What?! I’m an Aspie? Can’t say I saw that coming. But it sure explains a lot. Explains everything, really. Every. Thing. Knowing that I’m clinically different was helpful in the editorial process because my editor and I could talk about actions and reactions in the story that didn’t line up with neurotypical actions and reactions. I had the option of making her an Aspie or making changes to events and choices to line up with what a neurotypical person would do. In a fantasy world in which “I” made it to the professional level, was pursued by two dreamy men, and experienced perfect surrender and sufficiency, why not cure autism? Don’t get me wrong, I kind of like the way I think. I’m not sure I would want to be neurotypical. But for a 244-page escape? Absolutely!

Thank you so much for spending time with my words! I love you all. I’m putting together a prayer list for the Christmas break. Shoot me a note if you want to be on it. I would love to pray for you – patricia@patriciabeal.com.

About the Author


Patricia Beal is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. She is represented by Les Stobbe of the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency, and A Season to Dance is her debut novel (Bling! Romance / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, May 2017). She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and has worked for the U.S. Army as a writer and editor for many years. Patricia writes from Fayetteville, North Caroloa, where she lives with her husband and two children. You can find more info about Patricia on her website here.

CONNECT WITH PATRICIA:  website,  facebook,  twittergoodreadspinterestinstagram
Giveaway
(2) Prizes up for grabs! (US Addresses Only)

Prize 1:

#TeamPeter Country Christmas Basket: 

Blake Shelton Christmas CD, Hallmark movie A Nutcracker Christmas, Country Cookin’ – Recipes from Callaway Gardens, A Season to Dance, country chocolates, and a country ornament.

Prize 2:
#TeamClaus German Christmas Basket:
German Christmas Songs CD, Baryshnikov movie White Nights (with Helen Mirren), Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss, A Season to Dance, German chocolates, and an ornament.

Enter now!

And don’t forget to check out the other stops for more entries!


Tour Schedule
Week 1:
11/19 – Just Commonly
11/20 – Remembrancy
11/24 – C Jane Read
Week 2:
11/27 – Just Commonly
11/30 – Thorn & Vine
12/01 – Radiant Light


18 thoughts on “A Season to Dance Review, Author Interview and Giveaway!

    1. Thank you! I’m so thankful for that cover. That wasn’t my original idea. It’s better. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas did amazing 🙂

  1. Thank you for this wonderful review, Jessica! Writing is so scary sometimes. What a blessing to know my words are being well received 🙂

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