Y’all please welcome a debut author to the blog today!
Her debut novel A Season to Dance releases May 9th from Bling!
Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.
Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.
Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?
Hi Patricia! Welcome to the blog! I’m so honored to chat with you today 🙂
Patricia: Thanks for having me ❤
I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Patricia: Apples. My kids like apples, and they are perfect for lunchboxes. Healthy kids. Happy mom.
Carrie: Yum. Apples are delicious!
Patricia: Summer. I don’t have to fight kids over jackets and/or watch them freeze without one.
Patricia: Dogs. Because my husband doesn’t do cats.
Carrie: Smart man 🙂
Patricia: Coffee in the morning to wake up. Tea in the evening to relax.
Carrie: Best of both worlds!
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Patricia: God gave me Asperger’s and with it the power to work on the same project for a long time—until it’s right. I once spent an entire week writing and rewriting one paragraph of my debut—until it was right.
Carrie: I love that!
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Patricia: I go straight to the Christian fiction shelves and take selfies with friends’ books ?
Carrie: I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does that!
If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Patricia: Let’s see. I have A Season to Dance candy, A Season to Dance pens, A Season to Dance bookmarks, the A Season to Dance advance copy . . . and I have no money. It would tell you that I’m about to birth a book ❤
Carrie: LOL! Best ever answer to this question!
Congratulations on your debut novel!! Tell us a little bit about your main characters in A Season to Dance?
Patricia: Thanks! A Season to Dance is a woman’s journey. Ana works hard to make her dreams come true but feels like she always falls short—both in her ballet career and in her relationships. Peter is her fiancée. He’s a landscape artist, older, handsome, and all kinds of together. They plan to move to his ranch after the wedding. Then Claus shows up. Claus is a famous German dancer and Ana’s first love. Ten years after his mysterious disappearance, he’s back in Georgia to dance with her and win her back.
Carrie: Oooo I’m so curious how this turns out for Ana!
You share a common love of dance with Ana. What has been your favorite moment as a dancer?
Patricia: I know the one moment. But there’ve been many worth mentioning! Dancing with my little girl in Germany was definitely special. I was the Snow Queen and she was my little Snow Princess. My first solo was special too, but it happened so late in life that I’m embarrassed to say when and where. Like Ana, I too feel like I’m always falling short. Someone asked me the other day, “What does it feel like to be a published author?” I told her it didn’t feel real yet. On launch day, I might have an answer. Until then, I keep expecting Jesus to show up before the book comes out because my dreams tend to not come true. Not that the rapture would be a bad thing, but Lord, can it please happen after May 9? Is that a horrible thing to say? Oops. Okay. The one special moment. Not a solo. I was one of sixteen snowflakes. I wasn’t even doing anything. We were in groups of four flakes holding a simple position while the snow queen danced. But it was so perfect. All I could see was bright lights. The body was hot from dancing, but the pause let me feel the cool air of the theater. Glittery artificial snow fell softly and tickled my face and arms. A choir of elementary school children helped bring extra magic to Tchaikovsky’s famous “Waltz of the Snowflakes,” and all was right with the world at that moment. Will heaven be like that? I hope so ?
Carrie: Oh I bet dancing with your little girl was so so special! (And I totally get the rapture thing lol. I have thought several times… ‘Lord, please don’t come back until I make a dent in this TBR pile.’ Which sounds ridiculous but they all look so good!! lol) And the Waltz of the Snowflakes memory sounds AWESOME!
What do you most want readers to take away from A Season to Dance?
Patricia: That Jesus is still the answer and that no amount of professional success and/or romantic love will ever fill the hole in the human soul that only God can fill.
And for those who already know that, that the lost sheep you pray for and who seems a million miles away from the Lord could be closer to conversion than you think. Keep praying.
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home and wasn’t a Christian when I wrote the first version of A Season to Dance. Initial rejection in the summer of 2012 crushed me. I came as far as declaring out loud to the god of my imagination that he was dead. True story.
Self-gratification became the sole purpose of my existence, and I looked behind every door for happiness and satisfaction. I didn’t find anything worth keeping though, and at the end of every new pursuit, I was surrounded by a darkness and a hopelessness that was incredibly scary.
And God closed every door to comfort. The only open door was a friend famous for church shopping whenever the Army moved her family. She took me to church.
I was born again in January of 2013 and realized I’d missed a whole layer of Ana’s story—of my story. I cancelled a trip to a secular writers’ conference and spent fourteen months rewriting the novel. Ana’s salvation story. My salvation story. That’s what God had me writing all along.
Six months from “you’re dead” to peaceful surrender. Keep praying ❤
Carrie: Yes! Patricia… I love your testimony. What a great reminder of God’s grace in redemption.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Patricia: I have no idea what’s next. My husband just retired from active duty service, and we’re still very much in transition. I have a second novel written, but it’s not saying everything it’s supposed to say yet, and progress has been slow.
The Song of the Desert Willow, is a split-time military romance. It’s the story of a college graduate (Clara) who thought she’d sworn off soldiers forever, and a young Army captain (Andrew) whose first shot at love and marriage imploded on the steps of a West Point chapel on graduation week.
She takes a break from a long and frustrating job search to travel to Fort Bliss, Texas, to deliver her grandmother’s last love letter, a letter to a retired general Clara has heard about since she was born. When the general is delayed in Germany with a weak heart, Clara’s stuck in Texas and Andrew is put in charge of her well-being.
Andrew wants to find the courage to tell off the woman who left him at the altar but now wants him back. If Clara would turn her eyes on him with the slightest bit of interest, maybe his resolve would appear.
But three generations of women in her family were ruined by Army men. Sure, he’s handsome. And yes, his eyes are the most intense shade of green she’s ever seen. But she didn’t date soldiers—not anymore.
Despite her reservations, Clara begins to cherish her time with Andrew, discovering that a month at Fort Bliss might be just what she needs to understand her family’s past and plan her future. But as days turn into weeks, the past refuses to stay in the past and puts her future in jeopardy.
I can’t wait to share this story with readers. Two close friends have read it and are so excited about it. Maybe soon ❤
Thanks for letting me be here today! ?
Carrie: That novel sounds FANTASTIC! You are welcome back anytime 🙂
Patricia Beal is giving away a paperback copy of A Season to Dance to one of my readers (US only). This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? Which character in A Season to Dance are you most excited to “meet”?