Candee Fick's Latest Release: Dance Over Me
Hi L.A., thanks for having me as your guest today.
I'm addicted to stories, especially the ones that linger in my imagination long after the final page. Even better are the nuggets that resonate deep inside before they even find a voice. My newest release started as a vivid dream that was fed by a Scripture, then a song, followed by a variety of smaller ideas that gradually wove together into a solid story about a dancer looking for a place to belong...and the God who was working behind the scenes in her life.
It is with great joy that I'm thrilled to finally introduce readers to The Wardrobe Dinner Theatre. Be prepared to experience rousing musical numbers, Big Band trumpet playing, and the rhythm of tap dancing feet along with romance, an adoption reunion, and plenty of backstage diva drama. I fell in love with this setting and these characters so completely that I've since written a sequel and started work on a third book. How's that for an imagination that won't let go?
Danielle Lefontaine, a fledgling actress raised to the lullaby of Broadway, searches for her long-lost brother and her place on the stage, but a jealous cast member and numerous fruitless leads threaten to drop the curtain on her dreams and shine a spotlight on her longing for a place to belong.
Meanwhile, Alex Sheridan is living his dream except for someone to share it with. When Dani dances into his life, he hopes he’s found the missing piece to his heart but fears the bright lights of a bigger stage could steal her away.
Will the rhythm of dancing feet usher in their deepest desires or leave them stranded in the wings?
(Partway into the Prologue)
After introducing herself, Miss Amy put her hand on Dani’s shoulder. “Mrs. Johnson, this is Danielle Barker.”
Dani reached out her hand to Mrs. Johnson the way Mommy had taught her. “Nice to meet you.”
Mrs. Johnson’s hand felt warm as they shook hands. “Welcome to our home.”
“Dani’s joining her brother, Jacob.” Miss Amy squeezed Dani’s shoulder.
“Jacob?” Mrs. Johnson’s face got really white. “He’s gone.”
Gone? That’s what they said about Mommy and Daddy. Dani’s heart stopped beating for a moment and then pounded under her sweater.
“Nobody told us there was a sister. The Wilsons took him home yesterday.” Mrs. Johnson sounded mad.
Dani’s arms tingled and a noise like a waterfall echoed inside her head. “Why did the Wilsons take him?”
The grown-ups got that look like when they forgot kids were listening. Mrs. Johnson pulled them inside the house and shut the door. Miss Amy left to use the telephone. Trembling, Dani stood by the wall. Mrs. Johnson sat on a chair and covered her face with her hands. Down the hallway, music played and children laughed.
After a long time, Miss Amy returned. Her eyes looked sad as she got on her knees in front of Dani. “You’re going to stay here with Mrs. Johnson. But your brother’s being adopted. He has a new family now.”
A new family?
Dani shook her head and tears filled her eyes. No. J. D. was her family. They couldn’t take him away. Not with Mommy and Daddy gone to heaven. She had to take care of him.
She pushed Miss Amy away and screamed.
Danielle Lefontaine wiped sweaty palms on her short skirt. Auditions always put her off balance.
“Next up. Number seventeen.”
Dani rolled her shoulders once, gave each leg a shake, took a deep breath, and clicked her way up the three steps to the polished hardwood. Approaching center stage, she scanned the house and zeroed in on the older couple seated behind a table on the second level.
“And what will you be showing us this morning?”
Dani’s gaze skipped over the tall woman who’d checked her in earlier and focused on the middle-aged director who was busy rolling a pen between his fingers. She swallowed hard to dissolve the cotton-like feeling in her mouth.
“I’ve prepared a series of tap combinations.” Dani did a quick shuffle step to draw attention to her footwear and break the tension that seemed to have paralyzed her body.
A snort of laughter erupted from an area to the right of the judges’ table.
Dani shifted her gaze to the critic. Female. About her age. The blonde bombshell diva-type leaned over to whisper something in the ear of the dark-haired man beside her as two other women giggled behind them. Based on the logo on their T-shirts, they were part of the theater company and therefore in a position to enjoy watching the auditions without the fear of dashed hopes.
“Do you have accompaniment?” The director rested his chin on folded hands.
“I do.” Heat from the stage lights sent a trickle of sweat down Dani’s back.
“Whenever you’re ready.”
She glanced at the cluster of actors. The diva picked at her nail polish, and the others looked equally bored. Time to let her feet do the talking.
She stepped into position and nodded in the direction of the soundboard on the third level at the back of the room.
Okay, God. Here we go.
Candee Fick is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.