About the Book
Book: Dance with Me
Author: A.M. Heath
Genre: Christian Historical Romance (1960s)
Release date: April 2019
Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?
In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two find a partnership they never thought possible.
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs.
The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.
More from A.M. Heath
Breathing Life Into A Novel
One of the common remarks I get from my readers is how they felt like they had been transported into the story. The characters felt like real people and the setting felt authentic. And that’s always a blessing to hear as an author!
But the question is how do I do it?
Well, I’ll let the cat out of the bag. Since I’m not big on heavy descriptions, I allow other features to weigh in and help create the setting. In a nutshell, “I’m just keeping it real” (as we used to say in the 90s). And there are 3 areas to focus in on, especially when working with a historical novel:
Common objects or daily habits
It’s all about those minor details. The everyday objects or habits that a character might have that will help create the setting and bring authenticity to it.
Here are a few items found in the 1950s that aren’t as common today:
Two-toned painted vehicles
Phones attached to the wall, with a cord, and a rotary dial
Pull tab canned drinks
Clothes lines and ironing boards
I use the U.S. census to preview the top 1000 baby names in any given year starting in 1880. But I also make note when I run across a name that sounds modern but is found in a real historical document.
While I’m writing, I create a name bank so I have era approved names on hand to use for my secondary characters.
Here’s a preview of a name bank for characters set in the 1950s:
I must admit, the slang is my absolute favorite. I browse slang for each era through online searches and history books. But my favorite place to collect phrases is directly from the source. Anytime I’m watching an old movie or TV show, I jot down phrases I heard and the year it was filmed. It doesn’t get anymore authentic than hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth.
While I’m writing, I’ll preview my list and create a smaller word bank of phrases that my characters are most likely to use, so I can remember to weave them into the story.
Here’s a look at some of the fun phrases:
Say, (use at the start of your sentence)
Don’t have a cow
Teed off or sore (mad)
I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek into the 1950s. Dance With Me was a real neat novel to write. It’s set in 1959, so there’s a strong greaser vibe throughout the story. Believe me, I was on cloud 9 the entire time.
Now it’s your turn! Do you have a favorite era in history to read about?
Which one of these swell phrases will you dust off and use in normal conversation today? Lol You should definitely surprise someone with it, then tell me about it. It’s a load of fun. My kids get sore at me all the time for using “lame” phrases, but I must say that they have a wide lingo vocabulary whether they wanted it or not.
Grace, beauty, nostalgia, memories, healing and God's love. Those are the first words I thought of after reading this wonderful story of two people who are not only dance partners but so much more. I loved reading about the dances and it reminded me of the show American Bandstand. I may be showing my age, but that show had couples sliding across the dance floor with moves that impressed everyone. The story takes us from present day back to the late 1950s where dancing was just starting to be the craze.
Arleen reminds me of a flower that is just starting to bloom. The brilliant colors are starting to come out, but the flower is holding back. Arleen has not had a good home life and Neil may just be the person to help her overcome her insecurity. Her reputation around town is riddled with rumors that cause people to think bad of her. I could feel her pain buried deep down inside her. It was hard to read about Arleen's abusive father, but the author handled it with compassion . It lets readers get a glimpse into when she was younger and how her family life shaped her. Arleen has always been told that she was ugly so to get attention and to feel better about herself she flirted with guys. I can relate to her so much. My dad always told me I was ugly and would never amount to anything. Those words are hard to forget and for Arleen, she became an empty shell inside. It's easy to believe that you are nothing when you hear it everyday.
Neil is a strong dance competitor and finds himself teamed up with Arlene to win a contest. His faith will be tested as he encounters trials and a young woman who desperately needs to know that God loves her. I'm glad Neil came into Arleen's life just when she needed encouragement the most. It was beautiful to read Neil sharing God with Arleen. She needed to hear that she was loved, valued and could trust others.
The story is a journey that captures the beauty of a romance rich in humility, compassion and the unconditional love of God. Arleen and Neil's story is one you won't forget as you picture them dancing together while the world around them fades away. They embrace each other with honor and integrity and allow God to heal wounds that have stolen happiness from a young woman who wanted to be accepted. It's hard to leave this story without a tear or two as I feel like they have become my friends. I can still hear Neil whisper to Arlene, "Dance With Me."
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate her tour, A.M. is giving away the grand prize package of a multi-artist CD and a paperback copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.