Giveaway & Exclusive Scene Dance for Me by Helena Newbury

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Title: Dance for Me
Author: Helena Newbury
Series: Fenbrook Academy #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: Foster & Black
Release Date: July 1st

Natasha is one of the most promising dancers at the prestigious Fenbrook Academy for the Performing Arts and she’s just landed a life-changing audition. But no one knows the guilt she carries...or the damage it makes her inflict on herself when she’s alone.
Darrell is a multi-millionaire designer at 25. But past traumas have pushed him into isolation and the intense pressure of his work has brought him to the edge of burnout. Seeking inspiration, he sees Natasha dance and hires her as his muse.
As she dances for him, the two become entwined in a passionate but troubled relationship. He starts to see the pain inside her and helps her gradually lower her defenses...but Darrell has demons of his own. Can two broken people save each other? Or will the darkness they're hiding consume them both?

This scene was written exclusively for My Blog (Read Between The Lines) and takes place the night before the book starts.

I ran full-tilt into the lounge and hurled myself onto the couch next to Clarissa. “I need to borrow your laptop. Quick!”
With exaggerated slowness, Clarissa looked up from her laptop screen—as usual, she was half-watching TV and half-checking Facebook. Farther along the couch, Jasmine didn’t look up from CSI. She’s been obsessed with getting a part on a crime show for as long as I’ve known her.
“Why can’t you use your laptop?” Clarissa asked me suspiciously. Her pyjamas were smooth red silk, probably with a discreet designer label somewhere.
“I need to do this now, before I go to work!” I was due at Flicker, the bar I worked at, in thirty minutes, and it would take me almost that long to get there. “If I use my hunk of junk it won’t even have booted before I have to go!”
Clarissa sighed and passed me her laptop. “What is it you’re doing?”
“An interview, for the Fenbrook website. I said I’d get it to them today.” My fingers rattled over the keys, bringing up my Gmail and the form they’d sent me to fill in. Name: Natasha Liss. Course: Dance. Year: Junior. I mentally added: Career prospects: none, and sighed. I wished I’d followed Clarissa’s example—she was a dancer too, but she’d been sensible enough to take some acting classes to give her more opportunities. I was one of the few “pure dance” students, and dance jobs were thin on the ground. I’d only landed one audition so far—it was the following afternoon, and I was dreading it. If I didn’t get a break soon....
I pushed the thought from my head and carried on with the questions. “What’s the best thing about studying at Fenbrook?” I read aloud.
“Actors,” said Jasmine, still without looking up. She was studying acting, and had yet to date anyone who wasn’t.
“I can’t put that! It makes me sound like a complete slut!” I told her. Then, quickly, “I mean, it sounds okay when you say it—”
Jasmine just shrugged. “I am a complete slut. I just have a free pass, thanks to this.” She brushed back her long, auburn hair. “This means I’m vivacious.”
She was right, too—somehow, she seemed to get away with the endless flirting. The big eyes helped, as well. Why can't I be like that?
But I knew why. On the rare occasions I actually got up the courage to flirt with a guy, the fear overtook me like a black wave. The fear of him seeing the real me. The fear of him finding out what I'd done—
I squeezed my eyes closed for a second, pushing the memories back. I typed “the teaching” in answer to the question and moved on. “Worst thing?”
“The food,” Clarissa and Jasmine both said in unison. I thought of the sticky grey meat they’d served in the cafeteria that lunchtime, and typed “the food.”
“Okay, last question,” I told them. “Where do you see yourself, after Fenbrook?”
“In my own cop show,” Jasmine said instantly. “But I’ll settle for tough-but-vulnerable CIA agent.”
“On Broadway,” Clarissa said. She was already rehearsing for a small off-Broadway show.
I stared at the screen, my mind suddenly frozen. Where was I going to be in five years? Slithering around a pole for dollar bills, if I didn’t kick-start my career soon. What do I want?
I wanted a fresh start.
I wanted to meet someone who understood me. Someone I could tell the things I couldn’t tell Jasmine or Clarissa or anyone else.
I wanted to not sit in the toilets at Fenbrook every morning, before the others arrived, with the razor blade in my hand and a fresh cut on my thigh, using the physical pain to hold back the worse pain that burned inside.
“You okay?” Clarissa was watching some hunky male detective kick down a door on TV, but she’d noticed that I’d gone quiet. In another second, she’d look across at the laptop screen and see that I’d absently typed, I want to be happy in answer to the last question, and then I’d get a well-meaning two hours of interrogation.
I quickly deleted it and typed “Following my dreams!” which I thought was the sort of enthusiastic fluff they probably wanted, and sent the email. “All done,” I told the other two, and ran for the door.
Enough with the moping. I had to get it together for the audition. Tomorrow could change my life.
It did. Just not in the way I was expecting.

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I’m a New Adult Romance author who loves writing about what happens when love and dreams collide with the real world. I wrote my first novel, Dance for Me, in daily chunks in a very busy, very noisy coffee shop, which meant I had to order a black Americano every hour, on the hour, to keep my seat and wound up wired on caffeine most days. Unlike some of my characters, I can’t dance.

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