Tuesday, 1 March 2016



DANCE. Guns.

MUSIC. Bullets.


Music in my head, dance in my body, the rhythm of my heart.

How far can you fall in just one month? How quickly can the human spirit be broken? Where does evil hide in plain sight?

Ash wants to dance. Needs it. To leave behind a life of expectation and duty, to set his soul free.

But life is never that simple. Every step is a journey on a new road.

For every action, there is a reaction.

Every choice has a consequence.

And when you meet the wrong person, all bets are off.

Laney tolerates her limitations, pushing quietly at boundaries. But when Ash crashes into her world through rage and violence, it sets off a chain reaction that neither of them expected.

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Laney POV

“Hi, I’m Ash. Are you by yourself?”

It was hard to be sure over the pounding music, but it sounded as if he had an accent. Something Eastern European, perhaps Russian? Polish?

I gave him a polite but closed smile, a cool smile that hid all warmth, a smile for slow servers and rude cab drivers. A smile for men I didn’t trust.

“No. I’m here with my friends.”

The man looked around him, then shrugged theatrically. “I don’t see them. Would you like to dance?”

And he held out his hand, obviously assuming that I would say yes.

I laughed.

“No, I’m not dancing.”

He frowned, his hand still suspended between us. “But you like to dance?”

I stopped laughing and stared, my gaze sinking into his, puzzled, annoyed.

“What makes you think I like to dance?”

He shrugged again and his hand fell to his side.

“You’re in a nightclub, and you’re not drinking. So you must be here to dance. Please, dance with me.”

He held out his hand again, but I shook my head impatiently. “Then go find someone who will dance with you.”

His eyes widened with surprise, and then he grinned as he leaned on the table, his perfect face inches from mine. “Maybe I want to dance with you.”

“Then you’ll be waiting a long time.”

He cocked his head to one side and I noticed a small beauty spot, shaped like a teardrop beneath his left eye—a perfect imperfection. Up close I could see that he was younger than I’d thought, younger than me perhaps, maybe early twenties. My eyes dropped to his lips and then to his throat. I could see a thin silver chain around his neck.

“I’m a good dancer,” he said, looking almost wounded at my continued refusal.

He wasn’t lying, but my anger, smoldering beneath the surface, ignited.

“I’m not dancing!”

“But everyone comes here to dance,” he insisted, his intense dark eyes so focused, it was unnerving.

“Not me,” I insisted.

He was making me anxious now and I glanced around for my friends.

“You’ll have a good time.”

“I don’t doubt it,” I snapped, losing patience. “Your last friend seemed to enjoy herself immensely.”

A dull red flooded his cheeks and he looked away.

His reaction surprised me. I’d hurt his feelings, but I wasn’t sure why.

“Maybe I’d like to dance with a pretty girl for a change,” he said softly, glancing up at me from beneath long dark lashes.

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“Right, let’s see what you can do,” Elaine said.

I nodded at the technician, then pulled off my t-shirt, holding it out like a matador’s cape, and strode onto the stage with the sultry, dragging steps of the Paso Doble.

Florence and the Machine poured from the speakers, filling the empty cavern of the theater.

And I became the dance. I was a matador, facing a pitiless enemy.

‘Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air…’

I stepped forward with my heels, strong and proud, arms sweeping up from my sides, the t-shirt whirling around my head and tossed away.

‘I know I can count on you…’

Apel: the Flamenco stamp.

The movements were quick and sharp, staccato, chest and head held high, feet directly underneath my body.

‘Sometimes I feel like saying, “Lord, I just don’t care”…’

I felt it. I felt it all. Anger and frustration, the drama of the music: sur place, separation, attack, the open promenade, the Spanish line—the formal steps flowed through me, but it was emotion, owning the music, feeling the music, living it. I danced and the world stopped. All the pain, all the bitterness, lost in the music.

I leapt through the air, my body shouting the aggression that was sealed inside. Movements proud and strong.

The music died away and I stood panting on the stage, sweat pouring down my chest.

Yveta cheered from the wings and I turned my head to grin at her.

Against her will, Elaine was impressed. She jerked her head in a quick nod.

“You can dance.”

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Q:        Where did you get the idea for this book?

A:        I love watching ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. I’m fascinated by the backstage life of dancers—especially the ability to smile and dance through pain. It always makes me wonder what else is going on in their lives.

            The character of Laney is one that I’ve had in mind for a while. She’s an amalgamation of several people I know, as well as some personal experience.

Q:        Can you dance?

A:        Haha! Depends on who you ask! I tried ballet at college but I was terrible. And all the good dancers used the ‘beginners’ class as a warmup, so it was really intimidating, prancing across the dance studio with the grace of a water buffalo.

            I went to salsa lessons a few years ago with a friend. He kept growling at me, “Stop marching and stop leading! You’re supposed to look sexy!” Thanks, Max.

Q:        How important is music in your book?

A:        Really important. I thought really carefully about which tracks should accompany parts of the story. That’s why I added links to various YouTube videos so that readers could listen to the music while they were reading if they wanted to.

            I spent a lot of time thinking about which songs would make a great samba, or foxtrot of Viennese waltz.

Q:        How did you research the technical parts?

A:        I always enjoy research and doing background reading. But I’m also really lucky that the author Alana Albertson is a friend of mine, and she used to be a professional ballroom dancer, so she was able to doing all the fact-checking. Thanks, Alana! You’re a honey!

Q:        Is Ash based on anyone in real life?

A:        Yes, but I can’t say in case I get sued…

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*All teasers are courtesy and provided by the author*

About the author

Jane Harvey-Berrick 
Jane lived in London for over 10 years and have a love affair with New York. It's only since she have moved to the countryside, that the words have really begun to flow.
She live in a small village by the ocean and walk her little dog, Pip, every day. It’s on those beachside walks that she have all my best ideas.

Writing has become her way of life – and one that she love to share.


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