Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Behind Barres (Three Complete YA Ballet Novels)" by Miriam Wenger-Landis, Amanda Brice, and Leslie DuBois

ON SALE for $0.99
Behind Barres
(Three Complete YA Ballet Novels)
by Miriam Wenger-Landis, 
Amanda Brice, and Leslie DuBois

The newly released Behind Barres is ON SALE for just $0.99 (regular price $9.99, or $18 if you buy each ebook individually) to 27 September.

Talent means nothing without desire...
The dance world takes center stage in this collection of three full-length novels by popular young adult authors.
Girl in Motion by Miriam Wenger-Landis
At the School of Ballet New York, the most prestigious ballet school in the country, aspiring ballerina Anna works hard to understand her famous teachers and navigate her ups and downs with her friends. Everyone's goal is a contract with a professional ballet company, and as graduation nears, the pressure intensifies. Falling for one of the cutest guys at the school complicates things, but with the lead in the annual workshop performance, Anna gets one last chance to make her dreams come true.
Codename: Dancer by Amanda Brice
Bombs, poisoning, arson... Will aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak's 15 minutes of fame on the hit TV show Teen Celebrity Dance-Off be over before she reaches age 15? Dani and her friends are suddenly at the center of some serious sabotage. And if she doesn't find out who is behind it, her next pirouette could be her last.
The Queen Bee of Bridgeton by Leslie DuBois
When fifteen-year-old Sonya Garrison is accepted into the prestigious Bridgeton Academy, she soon discovers that rich girls are just as dangerous as the thugs in her home of Venton Heights. Maybe more so. After catching the eye of the star, white basketball player and unwittingly becoming the most popular girl in school, she earns the hatred of the three most ruthless and vindictive girls at Bridgeton. Can she defeat the reigning high school royalty? Or will they succeed in ruining her lifelong dream of becoming a world class dancer?

Girl in Motion by Miriam Wenger-Landis
Hilary walks front center as soon as we put the barres away, and she stays there, in the first group, the entire class. It’s presumptuous of her, and the returning students exchange glances. Nicole, the RA, who I’ve heard was the star of the class last year, stands right next to Hilary, sometimes too close. Nicole is obviously irritated at her, but Hilary acts oblivious. Hilary is a shade taller than Nicole, and Nicole has longer legs, but otherwise they have similar bodies. They’re both good for different reasons: Hilary fits all their physical criteria, but Nicole knows the style and what the teachers want.
There’s a lot of competitive energy in the room. We all evaluate each other. Hilary and Nicole come across as the most aggressive. I stay as far away from them as possible.
It feels good to dance even with all the nervous tension, or maybe even more so because of it. I focus on perfecting each and every second of my movements, rather than attracting attention, because I don’t feel ready to be noticed. It’s safer to go in the second line of the second group and be inconspicuous. Marie stands in the front line of the second group. I notice she doesn’t need to be pushy to stand out; her looks help her. I feel comfortable dancing near Marie because our body types are similar. She’s good, very controlled, and serious. As the class progresses and I have more time to get comfortable, I feel more confident I belong. I’m not the best but not the worst either.
Codename: Dancer by Amanda Brice
I took my usual place at the front of the barre, and had just sunk into my first plié when whispers rolled across the room like the start of an April rain — just a trickle at first and then it all came crashing at me. The live music from the accompanist didn’t come close to drowning out the nagging questions and rumors.
“So, Dani,” the girl behind me whispered. “Why’d you do it?”
“No comment,” I said for about the hundredth time, through gritted teeth as I tried to follow the warm-up.
“Isn’t that what they always say when they’re guilty?” the short boy on the center barre asked.
“Shh!” our instructor Grigor Dmilov snapped. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are doing pliés, not gossip. Talk all you want later. But now we dance.”
I closed my eyes as I continued the exercise, taking a deep breath and counting to ten before opening them again. I tried to picture myself in a Zen-like state. I knew I couldn’t say anything to them, but it was taking all my restraint to keep from doing so.
As I stretched my upper body towards the barre, it hit me that perhaps this was just jealousy, pure and simple. I’d probably hate the girls in the show, too, if I weren’t in it.
The Queen Bee of Bridgeton by Leslie DuBois
I remember the day I decided to become a ballerina. I wrote a poem for a third grade contest and won free tickets to see the Houston Dance Company perform in Newark. Actually, the poem was more like a prayer asking God to take me out of the nightmare called Venton Heights. My family had only lived there for two weeks, but I had already been beaten up five times for the offense known as "acting white." Because I didn't know the slang or the words to the latest rap song apparently I wasn't black enough.
At the dance performance, I remembered being completely mesmerized by the movements of the performers. They didn't just dance, they floated like angels. As they twirled around and leaped ten feet in the air, I could practically see myself on stage with them in the pretty costumes. Every arm movement and leg placement inspired me. What would it be like to move like that? I could barely sit as I started to imitate some of the steps. After the third dirty look from the person next to me, I brought my knees to my chin, hugged my legs, and continued to stare at the stage in awe.
When I got home from the performance, I looked in the phone book and found Ms. Alexander's School of Dance. As the only ballet school near Venton Heights, I knew it would be my only opportunity to receive any ballet instruction.
"Please, Mommy, please. If I don't take dance lessons I'll die!" I pleaded with her late one night when she came home from work. It had to be after midnight but I stayed awake sliding around the kitchen in my socks trying to replicate the movements I'd seen from those angelic dancers. I stretched my legs and flailed my arms and spun around on my tip toes. I tried to look graceful. I probably looked ridiculous.
"Baby girl, I just can't afford it. You know times are tight for me and your father right now. Can't you just take a dance class at school?"
"Yeah, if I wanna be in a rap video or something. They don't teach this kind of dancing. This is ballet, Mommy. It's special and it's beautiful and it takes years of practice. Ms. Alexander's school is my only chance, Mommy, please."

Book Trailer

"What better way to celebrate the start of the 2013-2014 dance season than with a collection of ballet novels for your teenage dancer? Three distinct, entertaining stories of pre-professional dance life by three different authors, all written for a teenage audience." -
"A perfect example of YA done right!" - I'd Rather be Reading blog
"Offers an inside view of professional dancer training." - The Salt Lake Tribune on Girl in Motion by Miriam Wenger-Landis
"References that include everything from Snooki to Chewbacca will have you laughing out loud." - Romantic Times magazine on Codename: Dancer by Amanda Brice
"Even in the category of teenage fiction, DuBois has elegantly woven a deeper narrative throughout the book that transcends her intended age group." - on The Queen Bee of Bridgeton by Leslie DuBois

About the Authors

Miriam Wenger-Landis was a student at the School of American Ballet and a professional ballerina with the Miami City Ballet. After graduating from Stanford University, she worked in the publishing industry, and now lives in Seattle. Girl in Motion is her first novel.

Growing up, Amanda Brice couldn't decide whether to become a dancer or an author, but her father convinced her to “do something practical,” so after college at Duke University, she ended up in law school in Arizona. However, she realized she missed her creative outlets and decided to combine her passions by writing mysteries set in the dance world. You can learn more about Amanda and her books at her website.

Leslie DuBois lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and two children. She currently attends the Medical University where she’s earning her PhD in Biostatistics. Leslie enjoys writing stories and novels that integrate races. Visit her website to learn more.