Journalist Dani McKenna delves into the world of tango to expose the decades of lies and deception that threaten three generations of her family. She’s desperate to understand the reason her mother abandoned her twenty years ago to become a world-class tango dancer, why her grandma lives in fear of all things tango, and how the brutal murder of a tango music legend in 1950s Buenos Aires now affects her family.
Dani meets the enigmatic Carlos Escudero, a revered tango dancer and man of intense passion, who helps her unravel tango’s sordid history. Despite Dani’s lack of rhythm, they create their own dance of the souls until the differences in their cultures causes a deep rift. As she seeks to reconnect with Carlos and rebuild her family, tango – the dance of passion – becomes a complicated dance of betrayal.
Alli Sinclair is a multi award-winning author who spent her early adult years traveling the globe, intent on becoming an Indiana Jones in heels. She scaled mountains in Nepal, Argentina, and Peru, rafted the Ganges, and rode a camel in the Sahara. Argentina and Peru became her home for a few years and when she wasn’t working as a mountain or tour guide, Alli could be found in the dance halls dancing the tango, salsa, merengue, and samba.
All of these adventures made for fun storytelling and this is when she discovered her love of writing. Alli’s stories combine her passion for exotic destinations, the quirks of human nature, and the belief that everyone can dance, even if it’s to their own beat.
Flamenco Fire and Turning Pointe, books two and three in the Dance Card Series, will be released in the near future.
Alli volunteers as an author role model with Books in Homes, promoting literacy and reading amongst young Australians.
To find out more about Alli, please visit www.allisinclair.com
I can't remember the last time I was so moved by a romance novel as I was reading Luna Tango. Alli Sinclair weaves two beautiful love stories into one amazing book about love, loss, family loyalty and of course the most passionate of dances, the Tango.
Set in exotic Argentina, Luna Tango takes place in the Buenos Aires of the 1950's as we follow the journey of Louisa who is the muse to Argentina's greatest composer and it also takes place in the present day as we follow the journey of journalist Dani who has arrived in Argentina to write about the history of Tango but who is really there to unearth her own family history. Both women fall in love and are caught up in the magic (or is it the curse) of the Tango. Louisa's and Dani's love stories with their fiery and seductive Latino men are beautifully and evocatively told and the characters are incredibly real.
But Luna Tango is not a typical romance novel, it so much more. The history of the Tango and how it has shaped Argentina is brought to life in such an alluring way that you if you haven't learnt the tango yet, you will find yourself looking up the nearest dance school where it is taught. And if you haven't visited Argentina, you will be adding it to your bucket list. On top of that is a mystery so intense that it will have you in suspense and up reading way past your bed time until the final triumphant page.
I couldn't have loved this story any more, it is going down as one of my favourite books ever and I absolutely can't wait to see what this very talented author brings us next. Do judge this book by it's beautiful cover because the promise it holds will be realised when you start turning the pages.
An interview with Alli Sinclair
Can you tell us briefly about your book?
Luna Tango is the first book in The Dance Card Series that explores dances and music that capture hearts both on and off the dance floor—Buenos Aires and the tango, Granada and the flamenco, and Paris and the Russian Ballet. The stories embrace love, loss, passion and betrayal and entwine historical love affairs with present-day romance.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on Turning Pointe, book three in the Dance Card Series. It’s set in Paris and combines a present-day story with the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1917. I’m really enjoying the research and am still in awe that this ballet company managed to secure talented artists such as Matisse and Picasso to design their sets and costumes. Coco Chanel also designed for them and it’s been fun weaving her real-life story into Turning Pointe.
Which Hollywood stars would you like to see play the lead roles in the movie version of your book?
I would love to see Jessica Marais play Dani McKenna. She comes across as down-to-earth with a touch of sass—perfect for the character of Dani. I’ve always had visions of Gilles Marini in my head when I was writing Carlos so to cast him in this role would make perfect sense!
What do you love the most about the main character in your book?
There’s lots I love about Dani but my most favourite thing is her “humanness”. She’s very good friends with Denial and often tells herself little lies in order to cope with a situation that is too hard to bear (for example, whether to look for the mother that abandoned her twenty years ago). Even though she makes all kinds of excuses to do or not do something, Dani eventually finds the courage to confront the truth of a situation, no matter how painful.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
When I lived in Argentina I was lucky enough to experience tango and it captured my heart. The first time I saw tango danced was amongst ancient buildings in Buenos Aires. As I watched the couple, I wondered what had led them to tango. The questions kept coming—what if one of them was from a tango family that had a turbulent relationship with the dance? What if the relationship between tango and real life was so entwined that neither could survive without the other? What if a dark secret from another generation had a major impact on this young dancer’s life and, perhaps, it would rewrite the entire history of Argentine tango?
Those questions stayed with me for a long time until one day I decided to put pen to paper and find the answers. A year later, Luna Tango was born. If you would to read more about the story behind Luna Tango, I’ve written a blog post here -
What is the best piece of writing advice you have received?
The best way to fail is to give up.
Which writers inspire you?
This is a tad difficult to answer as there are soooooo many writers who I adore. But here’s a (very short) list: Monica McInerney, Fiona McIntosh, Kate Morton, Belinda Alexandra, Liane Moriarty, Kimberly Freeman, MJ Rose, Michelle Moran, Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts.
What tricks do you have to beat writer’s block?
To write through it. I like to plot but it doesn’t always mean I stick to the story. I like to use my instincts when writing (more like a “pantser” – someone who writes organically) but I like to have the plot beside me in case I write myself into a corner and can’t find my way back. At the moment I’m having trouble with a scene and I know, for me, that I just have to keep writing, even if I have to go back and rewrite that scene again. I find it difficult to write out of chronological order so the only way forward is to keep writing a scene, even if I know it’s really crummy. As the wonderful Nora Roberts says, ““You can fix anything but a blank page.”
Where is the novel set and why did you choose to set it there?
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to far flung corners of the globe but Argentina has been the only place felt like I was returning home. This is a country that has a huge heart – love for family, friends, and strangers abounds and passion influences everything Argentine’s do. There is magic in this country and the history is so rich and mysterious that I found it impossible NOT to set a story there! It wasn’t until I finally saw Luna Tango in print that I realised why I wrote this book – Luna Tango is my love letter to Argentina.
Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Someone goofy and accident prone! Given the amazing adventures I’ve had with my travels – mountain climbing, white water rafting, trekking the Sahara, for example - I often refer to myself as an Indiana Jones in heels. But deep down I’m as goofy as Bridget Jones and often snort with laughter like Sandra Bullock’s characters are prone to do. I like to think someone glamorous like Liz Hurley would play me but I trip over when I’m in heels. So …. I have to pick one, don’t I? Oh, okay, I would say Sandra Bullock. I like her sass.