Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, mystery, romance, Spotlight, suspense on September 25, 2013

Dance for a Dead Princess Final



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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Prologue and Chapter 1:

Dance for a Dead Princess 1st chapter

Guest Post:

I wanted to write a book that combines  mystery, romance, and intrigue, woven around the historical fact that Princess Diana made a video tape in January 1997 naming her assassins, a tape that was brought to America and that has never been found.  I wanted the book to be a page turner, the kind of story you can’t put down.  And I wanted the plot to focus on a modern aristocratic family that dates  from Tudor times.

The modern Duke of Burnham, Nicholas, who is the quintessential international businessman, contrasts with his ancestor,  the sturdy Tudor knight, Thomas, who became the First Duke.   Both men’s lives are suddenly changed when they fall in love with beautiful women. In the inner Tudor story, Thomas was in love with Elizabeth Howell, an heiress desired by King Henry VIII and beyond Thomas’ station.  In the modern story, Nicholas’ great love was his late wife Deborah, who was Diana’s great friend at West Heath.  His vow to find Diana’s tape was made in memory of both women.  When the story opens, Nicholas is busy luring Wall Street lawyer, Taylor Collins, to England because he believes she has Diana’s tape.  The modern duke’s quest for the tape is complicated in equal parts by falling in love with Taylor, whose life is in danger because she unknowing has the tape,  and by his efforts to wean his rebellious and mysterious sixteen-year-old ward, Lucy, off drugs.

The plot turns on a host of unanswered questions that arise thick and fast.  Where is Diana’s tape?  Who broke into the cottage where Taylor is staying?  Is she being followed?  Is the rumor that Deborah’s death in 1994 was not an accident true?  Who is Lucy’s real father?  Does she stand in the way of Nicholas’ desire to sell Burnham Abbey, the Carey’s ancestral home? Are the Careys founded on the murder of the First Duke’s wife to clear the way for him to marry his heiress?  And, above all, who is trying to kill Taylor, and who killed the Princess of Wales?

I wrote Dance For A Dead Princess for readers who love page-turning tales of history, intrigue, great love stories, and mystery.  So far, all my readers have said they couldn’t put it down and that makes me very, very happy.  I hope that you will be next to enjoy it!

About the Author:

Deborah HawkinsDeborah 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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