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Starlight On The Palace Pier Tour – Extract

Starlight On The Palace PierOn the book tour for Tracy Corbett’s new book called ‘Starlight On The Palace Pier’, enjoy an extract from the tale.

Becca suspected she was in for an interesting evening. Clearing her throat, she faked a confidence she didn’t feel and addressed the group. ‘Shall we get started? For those of you who have tap shoes please put them on, and then find a space on the floor.’

Five minutes of faffing followed as Wanda and Miriam struggled to locate their shoes, put them on and tie the laces. Miriam was dressed in a brightly patterned smock dress, whereas Wanda wore the full dance regalia: Lycra catsuit, leg-warmers and top-of-the-range tap shoes. Nick and Cassie, who looked like they’d just come from work, were dressed in head-to-toe grey.

Collectively, it was a sight to behold.

Becca was just thinking it couldn’t get any more bizarre, when the doors opened and another woman joined them. ‘Sorry, I’m late,’ she said, hurrying in. She dropped her bag, tripped over it and then dropped it again when she tried to pick it up.

‘That’s Mi-Sun,’ Wanda said, in a loud whisper. ‘She’s from Korea.’

And Becca thought dealing with the kids was hard.

Still, at least this lot weren’t running around the room screaming. Not yet, anyway. ‘As we have two new people in the class and I’m new myself, let’s start with a few basic steps to get us warmed up. Okay?’

Four expectant faces stared at her.

Mi-Sun ran to join them, tripping up as she did so.

As a fellow klutz, Becca could empathise. ‘Okay, could you all spread out so you’re not on top of each other?’ They shuffled about. Wanda and Miriam both wanted to be at the front. Nick and Cassie hid at the back. Mi-Sun was left in the middle on her own. ‘Right. The first step we’re going to learn is called the shuffle.’

‘Oh, I know this.’ Miriam launched into a demonstration, followed by Wanda, who wasn’t about to be outdone. What with Miriam’s curves and Wanda’s cleavage, there was quite a lot of bouncing going on. The floorboards got a good workout.

‘That’s great, ladies. But let’s break it down for the rest of the class.’ She waited until the floor stopped vibrating. ‘The shuffle is a combination of two basic moves, the brush and the strike. Let’s start with the brush.’ She was met with three concerned expressions and two bored ones. Miriam and Wanda failed to hide their frustration at being made to start from the beginning.

Oh, well. Nothing she could do about that. Even with no teacher training she knew she could only go as fast as the slowest person in the group.

Becca turned to face the mirrors. ‘Stand on one leg and lift your other foot. Now swing the foot forward, brushing the ball of your foot against the floor.’

You can buy Starlight on the Palace Pier: A gloriously heart-warming read that will make you laugh out loud from Amazon

Book Tour – The Inspiration Behind The Summer Theatre By The Sea

The Summer Theatre By The SeaToday on the book tour for Tracy Corbett’s new book called’ The Summer Theatre By The Sea’, Tracy reveals the inspiration behind the book.

In 2001, my local drama group put on a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and I decided to try for a part. I went along to the auditions hoping to be cast as Helena or Hermia, one of the female leads – who got to wear pretty dresses and swoon over handsome men in tight breaches. Instead, I was cast as Puck, the mischievous goblin who flies around the forest planting spells on people, and who has a highly dodgy relationship with the King of the Fairies! Suffice to say, I wasn’t happy.

Rehearsals began and things went from bad to worse. I was asked to ride a bicycle, perform cartwheels, reside in a makeshift tree-house and wear shorts – something I hadn’t done since 1979. But a strange thing happened. I began to enjoy myself. I hadn’t realised the part was so funny. I was soon whizzing around the stage like a hyperactive child on speed. Opening night arrived and my blonde hair had been cut into a pixie style and dyed ‘fire-orange’. Along with my green make-up and matching green velour shorts and tunic, I looked quite the woodland nymph. My white plimsolls, spray-painted for the show, hadn’t quite dried, so I ended up with green-stained feet. But apart from that, the show was a massive success…well, if you ignored my encounter with the army netting in Act Two.

The set designer had managed to obtain a large ravel of camouflage netting from the British Army, which somehow I managed to get my ears stuck in. These were not my natural features, but the jugs on the thirty-inch donkey head made for the character of Bottom. The director had this brilliant idea that when Bottom awoke from his dream, he’d see Puck moving spookily about the stage wearing the Ass’s head. Rehearsals hadn’t been a problem, as we didn’t have either the Ass’s head or the camouflage netting. But during opening night, I moved forward to deliver my line and realised I was stuck. The netting locked tight, like a well-designed seatbelt, and I was yanked backwards. The Ass’s head swivelled ninety-degrees blinding my view and masking my mouth. For the remainder of the scene, my moves were confined to two steps either side of where I was entangled. By the time I got off stage, I was sweltering, my make-up was smudged, my voice was croaky and my nose was rubbed sore from horse-hair friction. Despite the Director assuring me that ‘no one would have noticed’, I remained sceptical. A green goblin wearing a back-to-front Ass’s head and stuck in army camouflage netting, is something most people would notice.

But playing Puck was great fun…although it did leave me with a strangely jaundice skin-tone from the make-up, bruised shins from repeatedly descending the treehouse ladder, and satsuma-coloured hair that needed bleaching. But other that, it was amazing. So much so, it inspired the idea for ‘The Summer Theatre by the Sea’.

You can buy The Summer Theatre by the Sea from Amazon

Cover Reveal – The Forget Me Not Flower Shop

The Forget Me Not Flower ShopI’m excited to reveal the pretty cover to Tracy Corbett’s new book called ‘The Forget Me Not Flower Shop’.

What the back cover says

Evie runs a florist, The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop. A new man is not what she needs, but can plumber Scott Castillo fix her boiler and thaw her heart too?

Scott is trying to balance paying the bills with caring for his sick mother and parenting his nephew, Ben, who at 18 is marrying his girlfriend Amy. Amy’s mum Patricia hides her husband David’s infidelity from their hopelessly romantic daughter. Patricia’s tennis partner Martin moans about his inability to satisfy his wife, Laura, who helps brides find their perfect dress for their dream wedding, despite her own marriage being a mess.

Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond.

You can pre-order The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop from Amazon and will be available to buy for only 99p from 3rd July 2017.