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Dancing at The Chance Paperback – April 3, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425245594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425245590
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,743,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Cameron beautifully recreates the atmosphere of turn-of-the-century New York Vaudeville, with deft prose, energetic characters and plenty of colorful images that present readers with a lush portrait of a down-on-its-luck theater. ... [A] realistic, engaging tale that uplifts."--RT Book Reviews

"Gripping. ... [T]ouching and heartfelt. ... The brilliant cast of characters, the exciting story line, and the historical setting all made for one heck of a show."--UNTOUCHABLE TREASURE, 4.5-star review

The storyline ... is a most entertaining read about a great era in Broadway history. I look forward to more show business novels from DeAnna Cameron.--Historical Novel Society

[A] lovely story, subtle in its sensuality and its darkness, which allowed the reader glimpses into the unspoken seedier parts of the characters' lives.--All About Romance

"Old New York comes to vibrant life in this dazzling tale of follies and illusions. DANCING AT THE CHANCE serves up a racy, exuberant feast for the senses, with a lively and intrepid heroine determined to succeed in a fading world threatened by fast-paced, fickle modernity."--C.W. Gortner, author of THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI

"In turn-of-the-century New York, the Chance Theatre, once a crowning glory of vaudeville has become a dull grey shadow of its former self. Following the retirement of its original owner, the motley troupe of vaudevillians struggle to keep its doors open under poor stage direction and worse fiscal management while its audience is lured away by the glamorous Ziegfeld Follies and the newfangled flicker pictures. In DANCING AT THE CHANCE, author DeAnna Cameron resurrects this vaguely familiar and bygone theatre world with life, breath, personality and passion."
(-Emery Lee, author of Fortune's Son)

About the Author

DeAnna Cameron served as a writer and editor for a number of newspapers and magazines before turning to fiction. She lives in Southern California with her family. Visit her website at deannacameron.com.

More About the Author

DeAnna Cameron spends much of her time dreaming up romantic historical adventures featuring feisty heroines destined for passion and fame -- an endeavor that was not so useful when she was a newspaper reporter, and even less so when she became a magazine editor. Yet, she did her best to behave like a serious journalist during her 15-year career, which included stints in newsrooms and editorial offices of many fine Southern California publications.

Those daydreams never went away, however, so it's a good thing she landed in the thrilling world of fiction, where she can finally put them to use. These days, she is dreaming up new stories from her home in Orange County, Calif., where she lives with her family and a ninety-pound chocolate Lab.

For more, visit www.DeAnnaCameron.com.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
Little surprises kept peeking up as I read.
Naida M.
The brilliant cast of characters, the exciting story line, and the historical setting all made for one heck of a show.
Untouchable Treasure
She throws herself with gusto at love, at dancing, and at making the Chance vaudeville theater the best it can be.
Shauna S. Roberts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Woodland TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I did not have the honor of reading Ms. Cameron's first book, The Belly Dancer, but I am going to add it to my ever so long wish list. It is a prequel of sorts (from what I can glean) to Dancing at the Chance as the main character made a large impact on the heroine here, Pepper MacClair (don't you just love that name?)

Pepper lives at The Chance theatre and it is all she knows. She is young, very young and as with all young women she thinks she knows everything. She is a very well drawn character to the point that at times I wanted to take her over my knee and spank her. She is at that blind stage of life where she will not listen to anyone, she knows what is RIGHT and she believes that love will conquer all. As one reads one knows she is in for it. And that pre-knowledge is, I feel, an integral part of the book.

The Chance is a dying theatre. Vaudeville is reaching its zenith as moving pictures are starting to come on the scene. The great Flo Ziegfeld has arrived on the scene and the smaller theatres are not standing a chance (no pun intended) against his large productions. Pepper thinks she has all the answers but she doesn't realize how hard it is for the stage manager to get acts into a run down theatre. He treats her like dirt; criticizing her every performance. This was one thing I could not understand - I never did find the root of his focus on Pepper and his constant griping at her. Perhaps the answer is in The Belly Dancer?

Pepper is in love with the owner's son and longs for marriage but he only offers far less. Since she has little self esteem she accepts his offer of being his mistress. She thinks he is the answer to her prayers; she thinks he will save The Chance. She refuses to see what is in front of her eyes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dark Faerie Tales on June 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A heartwarmingly beautiful story of loss, love and talent.

Opening Sentence: For a full half hour the stage manager sat on a stool near the footlights, his fingers curled on the hooked head of his cane, silently watching the vaudeville players at morning rehearsal.

The Review:

Picture, if you will, early twentieth century New York City. Back before terrorism, before the Great Depression, or even the Roaring Twenties. Back to the days of stage performing, before moving pictures were so popular. Back to the little theaters featuring vaudeville -- variety acts much like one would see on, well to be current, on America's Got Talent. This book has dancers, singers, dog acts, even a guy who spins plates on sticks.

This story features one of these vaudeville performers, Pepper MacClair. Pepper and her mother, Bessie, arrived thirteen years prior to the opening of this story on a boat from Scotland, braced for a new life beginning with the reunion with Pepper's father. When the man never showed, Bessie was forced to make do, to find ways to support herself and her daughter, and that's where The Chance Theatre comes in. For the past thirteen years, Pepper has called the theater and its small basement rooms her home, and its employees and performers her family.

After a disastrous premiere as a dancer on the stage, on what was apparently the worst night of her young life, Pepper was relegated to work behind the scenes. That is until an opening in one of the chorus line acts gave her another chance at stardom. But, stardom is a hard row to hoe in a place as unkempt and obscure as The Chance is. But, The Chance is apparently her only shot, as she is rather reluctant to leave.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Untouchable Treasure on April 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Author DeAnna Cameron was nice enough to contact me with a review request for her historical fiction novel, Dancing at the Chance, and I was most happy to oblige her. Although this time period in American history is a bit foreign to me, I was thrilled to be introduced to a newer (to me, that is) period of historical fiction.

Pepper MacClair, the protagonist of our story, was very well written. Cameron most definitely succeeded in making her plight entirely relatable to the reader. Every one of Pepper's triumphs and tragedies really resonates with the audience. As a former dancer, I could definitely relate to Pepper's struggle for perfection in the eyes of her Vaudeville audience. She has such a passion for her Vaudeville theater, which really enhances the story and makes it all the more special.

The plot of Dancing at the Chance was also very well done. Cameron utilizes an all-star cast of characters to really build a story that is gripping and completely believable. The plot in and of itself almost mimicked a Vaudeville show... complete with tantalizing entre-acts, sweeping middle acts, and the grandest Vaudeville finale New York in 1907 has ever seen.

The love story in Dancing was really touching and heartfelt. Not to give too much away, but it takes a long while for Pepper to find true love; and when she does, it is really beautiful.

I was surprised at how much the historical setting really enhanced this story! Like I mentioned before, I did not know much about this period, just as a student of history. But DeAnna Cameron's integration of such a tumultuous time in the entertainment industry was fantastic. She clearly presented the struggle traditional Vaudeville actors were facing as the advent of the moving picture came to be.
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