December is I :::Heart::: the Holidays month at my blog. During these next twenty-two days, besides the usual blog posts, I’m featuring authors who write holiday romance. Today, I have D.S. Dehel in the interview chair. We’re discussing Saving the Prince. Be sure to check out the excerpt.
1. What draws you to writing holiday romance?
D.S.: The holidays are the perfect time to curl up with a sexy romance. It’s the only time some readers have a chance to stop and read something for themselves. It’s also a nice antidote to the lovely, but saccharine, nature of traditional holiday stories.
2. How many holiday romances have you written so far? And which one would you recommend for readers to try, besides the one you are featuring? Feel free to leave a link.
D.S.: Three. And if you want a holiday ghost story, Kissing Strangers is the one you want. https://www.extasybooks.com/kissing-strangers
3. What do you like most about writing holiday romance?
D.S.: The setting and atmosphere inherent in holiday romance is super appealing.
4. What do you like least about writing holiday romance?
D.S.: The fact I have to write one in the summer. It’s hard to get into the holiday vibe when it’s over 80 degrees outside.
5. What inspired you to write your featured holiday story?
D.S.: For me, Christmas was the Nutcracker. I danced in it for 10 years, and acted as stage manager for another 8. So if I need to get into the holiday mood, the first few trills of “The Snow Waltz” by Tchaikovsky will do it every time. Writing a ballet based holiday story was a natural outcome, though, writing the dancing scenes so that readers could envision and understand them was challenging.
6. If a reader asked you why they should read your holiday romance, what would you tell them?
D.S.: It will make you look at the Nutcracker very differently, and if you don’t know much about ballet, it’s a peek backstage with all of its bumps and warts.
7. Lastly, how are you going to spend the holidays?
D.S.: It’s always about family for me. Hopefully, COVID will allow more of us to get together this year.
The Nutcracker for the grown up ballerina in all of us.
Blurb: Clare Hoffman is a ballerina on the rise.
Or she was, until an injury forced her to watch from the wings and stripped her of the coveted role of Snow Queen in the company’s annual production of The Nutcracker. The only advantage to her position as Stage Manager is that she gets to watch Ian Simard dance every night.
And though her foot has mended, she secretly fears she’ll never be able to trust a partner ever again, and ballerinas must partner if they want the best roles.
But an unusual mouse attack allows her to save the company’s Nutcracker Prince, and in the process, she just may save herself.
“Curtain. Go.” Clare watched the heavy, red curtain descend, ready to call a halt so it wouldn’t clock Danila Chernov in the head, not that she didn’t deserve it. She absolutely did. It’s just that Clare didn’t want the kids in the audience to cry because the Sugar Plum Fairy got knocked out. At the last second, the Nutcracker Prince pulled her to him, and stepped back. The audience roared their approval. To them, it must have looked like a hug.
“She’s such a bitch.”
Clare turned to see Tim leaning against the rail, grinning.
She didn’t reply, just shrugged and pulled off her heavy headphones, but the microphone wire snagged in her headpiece. “Ugh. Stupid thing.” The only way to fix it was to put the headset back on and unpin her floral crown. “Damn.”
“You should have gone and changed like I told you.” Tim was busy raising the legs—the narrow curtains that marked the wings—but his voice was clear in her ears. “Oh no, you just had to stay and watch Ian Simard.” His teasing was good-natured, but Clare could feel the heat rising in her cheeks.
Usually, she liked his banter, but tonight had been rough enough. She wrenched off the crown. “See you Monday.” She pulled off her headset and stacked her cue sheets.
“Hey, Clare. Nice job tonight.” Tim picked something off the prop table and brought it to her. “Not many Stage Managers could call cues, run out and dance a number, then come back and finish the show. I wish Cato would just make you permanent Stage Manager.”
“Being Stage Manager is fun, but my foot is healed, and I’d rather dance.”
“I know.” He held out a plastic container. “Merry Christmas. Jan made these.”
Clare peeked under the lid, and the smell of chocolate assaulted her nose. “Truffles. That’s so nice. Thank you.” She couldn’t eat them. They were too fattening, but she appreciated the thought.
“Thank you for the bottle of gin.”
Clare opened her eyes in faux innocence. “What bottle?” There was supposed to be no alcohol backstage, but everyone snuck it in. “You deserve it for dealing with my screwups.”
He shrugged. “Rookie mistakes. Properly calling a show isn’t easy.”
She held up her fingers. “Nine more shows.”
“Miss Hoffman, may I speak with you a moment?” Clipped and cultured speech boomed across the stage.
“Cato needs me.” She sighed, wondering what she had done wrong this time. She hugged Tim. “Merry Christmas.”
Worry lines creased his forehead. “Look, if you get lonely, come hang out with us. The kids love you.”
“I have a lot of binge watching planned.” She held up her hand to forestall his protests. “But I will keep it in mind.”
Tim gave her a quick squeeze. “No one should be alone at Christmas.”
D.S. Dehel is a lover of words, wine, and the Oxford comma. When she’s not immersed in a book, she is a mom to her four kids and her spoiled feline Mr. Darcy or two pampered pooches: Piper and Jaime. Having “retired” she spends her days dreaming up new plot lines and word smiting for hours on end. She adores literary allusions, hot sex scenes, and British men. Her husband is still convinced she writes children’s books. Please don’t enlighten him.