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Guest Post from Deborah Hawkins, author of ‘Dance for a Dead Princess’




Dance for a Dead Princess FinalABOUT DANCE FOR A DEAD PRINCESS

Wall Street Attorney Taylor Collins, has something Nicholas Carey, the 18th Duke of Burnham, has been searching for since the death of the Princess of Wales: the videotape Diana made in January 1997 before her death in August, naming her assassins.

Determined to avenge Diana’s death by exposing her killers, Nicholas lures Taylor to England with his promise to sell his ancestral home, Burnham Abbey,  to one of her clients, a boarding school for American girls.   But Nicholas, who has dated American actresses since the death of his beloved wife, ten years earlier and who has vowed never to fall in love again, is immediately overwhelmed with feelings for Taylor at their first meeting.

Taylor, unaware that Diana’s tape is in the estate of Mari, her long-time friend and client, and nursing her hurt over her broken engagement to a fellow attorney in her firm, brands Nicholas supremely spoiled and selfish and is in a hurry to finish the sale of the Abbey and return to New York.  But while working in the Abbey’s library, Taylor uncovers the Tudor-era love story of Thomas, the first duke and founder of the Carey family.  As she reads Thomas’s agonizing struggle to save the love of his life and the mother of his child, she begins to see Nicholas in a new light as he battles to save his sixteen-year-old ward Lucy, who is desperately unhappy and addicted to cocaine.  But just as Taylor’s own feelings for Nicholas become clear and at the moment she realizes she is in possession of Diana’s voice from the grave, she is confronted with evidence Nicholas may be responsible for a double murder.  When Nicholas is arrested and taken to Wandsworth Prison, Taylor sets out to learn the truth once and for all about Nicholas Carey and the death of the Princess of Wales.

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How the Voice of Thomas, the Tudor Knight Won the Heroine’s Heart for Nicholas, the Modern Duke of Burnham

Writing a novel that combines two separate stories is not an easy task as I discovered when I began to write Dance For A Dead Princess.  For the book as a whole to work, I knew that the stories, although distinct, would have to have to contribute to each other.  In other words, one story would have to give the reader information about the characters and events in the parallel story in order for the reader to feel they belonged in the same novel.  Here’s how that happened.

I knew that one of the themes of the book would be the hero’s attitude toward being the last member of an aristocratic family dating back to the sixteenth century and the court of Henry VIII.  As Nicholas Carey puts it, “he didn’t deserve a lifetime of subbing for Arthur,” his older half-brother, who was born to be the Carey heir.  Nicholas resents being yanked from his life with his classical pianist mother in America and being shipped off to England at age fourteen.  He hates his father, Christopher, the Seventeenth Duke, and he resolves never to produce an heir and to transform Burnham Abbey, the ancestral home of the Careys, into a girls’ school.

When Taylor Collins finds the first duke’s diary in the Abbey’s library, she sees Nicholas only as a spoiled and selfish man; and she is indifferent to the Abbey’s fate and the fate of the Carey family.  But as Taylor reads Thomas Carey’s account of his consuming passion for Elizabeth Howell, she begins to see parallels between Thomas, the first duke, and Nicholas, the eighteenth.   Just as Thomas fell immediately and forever in love with Elizabeth one day in Queen Katherine of Aragon’s garden, so Nicholas fell deeply in love with Deborah Downing at Princess Diana’s wedding.  And just as Thomas was willing to do anything to win Elizabeth, so Nicholas was willing to appeal to Deborah’s desire to be a duchess to persuade her to marry him.  Taylor’s attitude toward Nicholas is transformed when she realizes that Nicholas reacted to Deborah’s death exactly as Thomas reacted to Elizabeth’s.   For both men, they could bear their loss only by withdrawing into indifference and bitterness.  After reading Thomas’ story, Taylor sees that, behind his ducal facade, Nicholas is a deeply wounded man capable of the greatest love imaginable, who longs to share his heritage with someone who can return that love.



Deborah grew up in the South, wrote her first novel at the of age thirteen, and has been writing ever since. In graduate school, she studied Irish Literature and came to believe all Irishmen and Southerners are born storytellers. In addition to writing, she loves music and plays the clarinet. Now that her children are grown, she devotes her time to law, music, writing, and her two Golden Retrievers, Melody and Rhythm.

Deborah taught college English and worked as a technical editor before going to law school. She worked for several large East Cost firms before coming to California in the mid-1980’s where she developed a solo practice as an appellate attorney while raising her three children as a single parent. She is admitted to the bar in two states and the District of Columbia, is a certified appellate specialist, and has a Master of Laws in addition to a Masters in English. She believes that even a legal case always begins with a story.

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Pump Up Your Book and Deborah Hawkins are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries.

This promotion will run from July 1 – September 27. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 28, 2013.

Each blogger who participates in the Dance for a Dead Princess virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win.

Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.

If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Dance for a Dead Princess Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Monday, July 1 – Book reviewed at The Phantom Paragrapher

Tuesday, July 2 – Book featured at Cindy’s Love of Books

Wednesday, July 3 – Book featured at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Thursday, July 4 – Interviewed at Read 2 Review

Friday, July 5 – First chapter reveal and review at Mom in Love with Fiction

Monday, July 8 – Up Close and Personal at Between the Covers

Tuesday, July 9 – Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Wednesday, July 10 – Interviewed at Review From Here

Friday, July 12 – Book trailer reveal at Pump Up Your Book

Tuesday, July 16 – Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life

Thursday, July 18 – Interviewed at Literal Exposure

Friday, July 19 – 5 Things post at Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, July 23 – Book reviewed at Miki’s Hope

Wednesday, July 24 – Interviewed at Beyond the Books

Thursday, July 25 – Interviewed at Broowaha


Pump Up Your Book


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