Guest Blog: Linda Weaver Clarke

The Inspiration Behind One Last Dance

One Last Dance is a Historical Romance with a mystery to be solved. Set in 1835, you will learn the art of watercolor, dance the Boston Waltz, and watch romance blossom before your eyes.

Often times we hear about authors who write a story based upon a dream they had, but that never happened to me until now. One night I had a dream that was unforgettable. It had been a year since I had seen my father, and I never had a chance to say good-bye before he passed away at the age of 91. But I finally had that chance. In my dream, I was at a ball. Turning to my mother, I told her that I wanted to go home. “But I would like to have one last dance with Dad first,” I said.

When I turned around, I saw my father standing before me, looking handsome and youthful. When he slipped his coat off, I noticed he was wearing a suit. Looking up at him, I asked, “Dad? Could I have this one last dance before you go?”

He nodded and placed his hand around my waist, holding out his other hand for me to take. I felt the softness of his palm in mine and it felt so real. As we danced the waltz, I didn’t notice anyone else on the dance floor. It was just me and my father. When I leaned my head on his shoulder, it felt grand. As the dance came to an end, I looked up into his eyes and said, “Thanks, Dad, for one last dance.”

After waking up, it took me a while to realize that it had been a dream. It felt so real. After a few seconds, it dawned on me that I had danced with my father because I needed to say good-bye.

So this story begins with One Last Dance. Felicity Brooks is a talented artist but her career is cut short when her father passes away. Realizing the importance of family, she travels home to care for her mother. When Felicity meets their charming new neighbor, a fine-looking bachelor, she soon discovers that he is hiding his true identity. Nicholas Adams is on a quest. But that is not all. Will one last dance heal her broken heart?

The Boston Waltz has an intriguing past. It received much criticism. After years of dancing at arm’s length, it was not readily accepted. To embrace one’s partner was unheard of and drew much criticism, especially among the pastors. In 1834, Lorenzo Papatino introduced this American Waltz, which was referred to as the Boston Waltz. It was much slower than the original waltzes in Germany and France. The waltz became popular among the country folk, but the upper class didn’t want to overstep the bounds of propriety. After a while, the waltz was gradually accepted.

In One Last Dance, after learning the dance steps, Felicity has the opportunity of dancing with her father in a dream. Some time later, she gets the opportunity of dancing the Boston Waltz with Nicholas Adams. At first, she hesitates because it hasn’t been completely accepted in society. Here is an excerpt:

“The Boston Waltz?” Nicholas winked at her. “How about it? It’s become quite popular lately.”

Felicity loved the waltz so much, that she was even dreaming about it. Ever since the Boston Waltz was introduced, the dance steps intrigued Felicity and she enjoyed the rhythm of the new dance. Looking around, Felicity noticed that everyone was staring at them. What was she to do? Many felt it wasn’t proper behavior. But apparently Nicholas didn’t care for convention. What would her aunt think if she chose to dance the waltz?

“Come on,” coaxed Nicholas. “Let’s show them how it’s done.” With his hand firmly around her waist, he extended the other toward her. “Take it. It’ll be fun.”

When she saw Louise frowning with both hands on her hips, Felicity took a deep breath and placed her hand in his. Then she placed the other on his shoulder. “I’m ready. Let’s do it.”

Within seconds, she was gently whirling around the room. Nicholas knew his steps very well and she had no problem following him. When he smiled at her, an inner joy crept through her. She was really enjoying herself. Suddenly, everyone and everything around her seemed to disappear. It was just the two of them and she felt as if she were floating about the room. When Felicity felt his breath upon her cheek, she looked up and noticed that he was watching her. She could feel his hand gently squeezing hers, giving her the message that he was enjoying himself. The touch of his hand upon her waist seemed to draw her near. The catchy rhythm, along with the close physical contact, made the dance quite desirable. He was having a wonderful time and so was she.

As the waltz came to a close, he looked into her eyes and said, “Wasn’t that fun? We should do it again sometime.”

“One Last Dance is a historical romance with a mystery to add to the tale. Felicity has always been a strong and independent woman. Amongst mystery, loss, paintings, and a career, she is going to have to decide if love has a place in her heart.” –Author Anna Del C Dye

When Felicity finds out that someone is trying to steal a valuable treasure that her father discovered, the adventure begins. With the help of her neighbor, Nicholas Adams, they search for evidence. Who is breaking into her home? What are they after? While Nicholas and Felicity search for clues, they attend a county fair, enter a horse race, and toss a piece of cow dung in a contest.

Author Katrina Hart wrote: “One thing that always keeps me reading this author’s books is her characters. They are engaging, funny and passionate. One Last Dance kept me guessing until the end and left me wanting to read this book all over again. If you like Historical Romance with a mysterious touch and well-developed characters, this book is a must-read.”

This Book Trailer sets the mood of this story.

About Author: Linda Weaver Clarke was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and now lives among the red hills of southern Utah. Linda is the author of 24 books. She has written in several different genres, which include: historical romances, romantic cozy mysteries, a mystery suspense series, children’s book, and non-fiction. All her books are family friendly.

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