Monday, June 25, 2012

Dance With Me an Interview with Hayden Braeburn

I first met Hayden Braeburn when I was invited to participate in a live chat on another blog  Bitch Can Write a Book. I did a live chat with them and enjoyed it so much. Part of the reason it went so well and I had such a good time was the ladies there were fantastically supportive. And Hayden was one of those ladies.

At the time I didn't know she was a writer or that she lives in Kentucky. So, imagine my surprise when someone else on our Kentucky Indie Writers group asked me to send her an invitation to join us. I was thrilled to invite her to our group.

I recently read Hayden's first book DANCE WITH ME. It's the first book of a series titled the Everett's of Tyler series. I'll be doing a review of it next week on My Muse's Musings and I'll be sending an announcement out on Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to return next week to read it. I guess you've guessed since I'm having her on my blog this week, I thought it was great.

 Champion ballroom dancer Katerina Nemecek pushed the love of her life away when he offered to save her studio from foreclosure. She loved him despite the secrecy surrounding their relationship, but she refused to take advantage of him or his wealth.

Mason Everett wants nothing more than to share his life, his family, and his fortune with Kat, but keeping her a secret was the only way he could keep her safe. He'd rather hide her away than chance losing her.

When Kat and Mason's relationship finally goes public, it sets in motion a plan to keep them apart. Can they survive the firestorm to dance together forever?

41,000 words


       Tell us what inspired your story?

 Honestly, I think I was watching Dancing with the Stars and thought, 'what if a heroine owned a
studio?' and went from there.  The first sentence, “Katerina Nemecek buckled her heel before
stepping in front of the studio's mirrored wall,” was a lonely sentence for a week or two before 
the rest of the story presented itself.

      What genres are you most drawn to to read and to write?
 I love contemporary, paranormal, and suspense—especially when the hero is military or former
 military (or police, or fire... Fascination with a man in uniform, much, Hayden?
Describe your hero and tell us a little about him.

Mason Everett is a strong, solid family man.  He's in the family business of banking, has dinner
with them once a week, cleans up after his younger siblings, and... keeps the love of his life from
them for more than a year.

Describe your heroine and tell us a little about her.
 Katerina Nemecek is strong in her own way.  Her mother is serving time for embezzlement, and
 she's never met her father, yet she came home to Tyler to strike out on her own.  It takes a certain
 ballsiness to do that, and it's unfortunate things didn't work for her quite as she'd planned.

What brings the two together and what threatens to keep them apart?

I did something strange with this book—Mason and Kat were in love with each other the whole
 time, and that was never an issue.  Of course, Kat doesn't see it that way, and feels she's not good
 enough for him, but the real problem is his ex.

If you're writing a series, have you kept the same characters throughout? And what through
 line or theme have you used to tie it together?  

DANCE WITH ME is the beginning of a series based around the Everett siblings.  It may branch
 out to other families/friends in Tyler, but right now the series is planned for four books.
Mason Everett watched Kat as she performed a series of intricate moves. She was so beautiful, it hurt. He was there to serve her with papers stating she had one month to pay her back mortgage or she was headed to foreclosure, but he had to watch her. She was utterly mesmerizing when she danced, and he hadn't seen her in over a week.

The economy had come crashing down around them and although ballroom dancing was more popular than ever with that TV show, people just weren't taking lessons like they had a few years ago. He knew Kat was working her ass off, he knew she was doing everything in her power to stay afloat, but the bank–what was once his family's bank–didn't care. The day the national chain bought them out was the day Kat's mortgage troubles began. Now, he was here, having taken this assignment himself. He wasn't sure if he'd volunteered to torture himself or because he thought he could comfort her, but he was here nonetheless. He watched her dance a while longer before making himself known.

“Kat,” he called.

Her lithe movements stopped abruptly. “Mason? What are you doing he–” she broke off. After the last time she saw him, she knew he wasn't here for her, he was here on behalf of the bank. “Oh.”

“I can't hold them off any longer,” he apologized as he walked toward her. Quietly he added, “I just wish you'd let me pay it.”

She crossed her arms under her full breasts. “Mason,” she began in her most censuring tone, “we've been through this before.”

Their last conversation was one he wouldn't soon forget. He'd offered to pay her mortgage off at the most inopportune time–while naked in her bed–and had lost her because of it. He searched her face as he pinned her with his espresso gaze. “Why can't you just accept my help?”

She turned away from him. “I just can't!”

“Why not?” He threw his hands in the air as he made his way to her. “It's not payment for services rendered. This is so much different than that.”

Brows raised, she turned toward him. “Different how?”

He blew out a sigh. “I... I can't bear to see you lose something you love so much.”

She looked at him, the epitome of the town golden boy with his perfectly styled caramel hair, handmade grey suit, and his Italian leather shoes. She knew firsthand the mouthwatering body those impeccable clothes covered was honed by plenty of tennis and sailing and daily workouts in his home gym. He was, in a word, perfect. She knew he had more than enough money to fix her problems, and that was the problem. She didn't want him for that. Worse, she didn't want anyone to think she wanted him for that. She refused to sully him with her problems.

Mason watched her stare at him as if she were memorizing him, committing him to memory. No way. She wasn't going anywhere. “Kat? Say something,” he asked. Not that he didn't enjoy looking at her. Today she was in a wrap style dress that accentuated her hourglass figure, the purple doing great things for her light blue eyes. Her black hair was pulled away from her face into a messy ponytail, and her mouth, oh, the things she could do with that mouth.

Yeah, he more than liked looking at her, but right now he needed her to say something. “Kat?” he practically plead.

“It's okay. I know why you're here. I know I'm losing this place. I know I have to move,” she said, her tone even and quiet.

“No!” he barked. “It's not okay.” He crossed the floor to pull her into his arms. “Dammit, Kat, it's not okay.” He crushed her to him then, taking her lips in a hard kiss. “You're not leaving. I won't let you.”

She tore from his arms, her cornflower blue eyes flashing like gas flames. “You cannot tell me what to do, Mason Everett. You gave up that right when you hid me from your family. I may not be good enough for you, but I don't deserve to be treated like a dirty little secret.”

He opened his mouth to speak, closing it just as quickly. That's what she thought? “You thought I was hiding you? That I was ashamed of you?” He let out a bitter laugh. “I was trying to protect you.”

She stalked away from him, heels clicking on the hardwood. “Protect me?” She stopped, turned to face him fully. “From what?”

He shook his head. “Priscilla.”

“You dated Priscilla in high school,” she said, her face a mask of confusion.

Something he regretted to this day. “She's run off every woman I've dated since.” He reached out to touch her, but stopped short. “I couldn't let her get to you, I didn't want to lose you.”

She made a disgusted sound. “That's rich. You didn't trust me enough to stand by you when someone else staked a claim on you–”

“You don't understand,” he cut her off. “She's ruthless.” Kat gave him a disbelieving look and he elaborated, “She pulled the old Visine trick. Mel was sick for a couple days.”

Her jaw dropped. “That's what happened to Melanie Andrews?” She shook her head. “She told me not to get involved with you when I choreographed her wedding dance.”

“That was almost two years ago.”

She shrugged. “She knew I had a thing for you.”

“I have a thing for you, too,” he echoed with a smirk, taking a step toward her.

“Wait.” She held up a hand to stave off his advance. “Why hasn't anyone done anything about Priscilla?”

“We couldn't prove it.” He lifted a shoulder. “What should I have done? Priscilla is one of my sister's best friends.”

God, she'd missed him. She had tried to be strong, had avoided anywhere he might have been for almost two weeks for fear of seeing him. She'd thought he was ashamed of her, but he'd hidden their relationship to protect her from Priscilla? Priscilla McClaren would blow away in a stiff wind and seemed as sweet as honey. Well, sweet as honey until you crossed her. She was famous for her tantrums, spoiled princess that she was, and Kat could understand Mason's reticence to a point. She sucked in a long breath, letting it out slowly as he watched her. Oh how she still wanted him with every fiber of her being, but if this was going to work, he had to trust her. She closed the gap between them, laying a hand on his forearm. “I can take it, Mason. If you want this to work, if you want me to let you help me. If you want...” she trailed off.

“I want,” he promised.

“Then no hiding.”

“No hiding,” he agreed before pulling her into a kiss.

She felt so good in his arms, her curves flush against him. He could kiss her for days and not get enough. He'd known Priscilla was scaring off his girlfriends for years, and hadn't really cared. With Kat everything was different. He couldn't lose her, couldn't let her be driven away. So, he'd hidden their relationship. He kissed her again, sliding his hands into her hair, dislodging her ponytail and savoring the feel of it through his fingers. When he broke the kiss, he took a step back to look into her eyes. “Never, never let anyone make you think I'm ashamed of you.”

She shook her head slightly, the black silk of her hair brushing the tops of her breasts. “You're the town golden boy, Mason. The oldest son of one of the richest families in town.” She looked down. “I'm a woman about to lose her livelihood, who's deep in debt.”

“So?” he asked, his caramel brows furrowed.

“So?” She pulled from his arms, threw her own out in a helpless gesture. “Mason, I am... God. I am completely and totally in love with you.” She turned around then, her voice quiet as she said, “I am not a gold-digger.”

His arms were around her before she'd finished her statement. “Of course you're not. I know you're not.” He spun her around to face him. “I love you, too. I was going to ask you to marry me after I offered to pay off this place,” he paused at her shocked expression. “That didn't quite work out how I'd planned it.”

Her mouth opened and closed a few times before she found her voice. “You were?”

“I was.” He grinned at her then. “What would you have said?”

“I would have thought you just wanted to save me.” She sighed. “You'd just promised to make all my financial troubles go away.”

He shook his head. “I only wanted to help.”

She went up on her toes to kiss him, her eyes sparkling. “Is the offer still open?”

“Until you say yes, the offer is there,” he promised as he tightened his hold on her.

She gave him a mischievous smile before she said, “Good to know.”

He laughed. “Good to know? Good to know? I lay my heart at your feet and you say, 'Good to know'?”

You can find more information about Hayden and her other projects at her website:

Read her blog:

Or contact her at Facebook: 
or Goodreads: Braeburn

If you want to learn about upcoming events about the Everetts of Tyler releases here's another link

And buy her book DANCE WITH ME at Amazon
Barnes and Noble or Smashwords 

Write on,
Teresa Reasor


Cherie Marks said...

This sounds like such a great read. The tension between these too is hot. Great post.

Teresa Reasor said...

I thought so too, Cherie. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.
teresa R.

Taryn Raye said...

Oh, I really enjoyed this excerpt! Totally agree on the tension between Kat and Mason and I love the idea of a hero and heroine who are already in love, but have issues within the relationship that has to be resolved. I'm going to have to add this to my TBR list.

Alexa said...

Great interview, and what an interesting story concept!

Hayden Braeburn said...

Thank you all!

Julie Robinson said...

Very Nice! I enjoyed the interview and the excerpt.

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog ladies. I really appreciate it!
Teresa r.

Tessa Stockton said...

The title initially compelled me to learn more because I used to dance professionally and I’m still drawn to the art. After reading the interview, plot, and excerpt, I'm eager to read this whole story— it sounds great!

Kallypso Masters said...

Congrats on your first book, Hayden! Can't wait to read it! Great excerpt!


Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks so much for your commments ladies. It's good to have you here.
Teresa R.