Spotlight Interview-New Release: Dancing in the Sand by Maria Imbalzano


Please make welcome the wonderful and fellow Wild Rose Press author, Maria Imbalzano to my blog today. We’re celebrating her new release, Dancing in the Sand! Love this cover–makes me yearn for the beach.

Get comfy, grab your favorite beverage, and let’s meet Maria…

MM: Congratulations, Maria on your new release! So happy you could join us today. Describe a typical writing day.

MI: I wish I had a typical writing day. If I did, I’d write every morning as soon as I woke up. I’d get a cup of coffee, head to my computer and let the creative process begin. But I’m a divorce lawyer, and instead of heading to my home computer in the morning, I head to the office or to court on weekdays. On those days, I try to write when I get home from work at night, after dinner, if I don’t have a board meeting or other work-related commitment. Weekends are great because I have much more time to dedicate to writing now that our daughters are grown.  Whatever time I have, whether it’s a half hour or several hours, I try to use that time wisely. It comes down to writing whenever I can squeeze it in.

MM: You have a powerful day job, Maria. It seems you’re a very busy woman. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

MI: I am working on a series called “Weekend Diaries.” The series is about four high school girlfriends who are now in their early thirties, with each of them going through a life changing event. The first book, “Changing Tides” is just about done. The second book, tentatively called “Nicki’s Story” because I haven’t come up with a better title yet, is done in first draft but needs a lot of work.  As soon as I sync the timelines in the two books and make sure I’m not going to change anything else that would affect the first book, I will send it to my publisher for consideration. My goal is to make this a four book series.

MM: Love the sound of this series, Maria. What inspires you when you’re writing?

MI: It depends.  The premise of “Dancing in the Sand” came to me in a dream. Young, passionate, love exploded over the course of a weekend – the kind of forbidden, but oh so exciting love. Horseback riding was involved along with an accident. The dream was so vivid, so romantic, and a little disturbing, that I wrote it down the second I woke up. The heroine of that book is a dancer. I love dance and took lessons for years including ballet, tap and modern jazz. I suppose Ava is my alter-ego. I also love to watch “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” so reality TV has some influence on my characters. My work-in-progress (Weekend Diaries Series) was inspired by my high school girlfriends, who are still my friends today. Their personalities have helped immensely in the creation of those characters.

MM: Dreams are one of the most powerful tools for inspiration. I keep a journal, post-its, and a pen near my bed to capture any dreams thoughts. What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?

MI: A photo of my family and me at Disney World which was taken about fifteen years ago. It was taken at night while waiting for a bus to our hotel after we had gone to the see the Country Bear Jamboree. There’s nothing special about it and if my daughters’ saw it, they’d probably ask that I find a better photo of them to replace it. But whenever I look up, there we are, smiling back at me.

MM: Precious! A treasured memory, Maria. Now for some fun questions. Do you prefer…

Champagne or Beer? Champagne

Southern drawl or Scottish burr? Scottish burr **UPDATE** I’ve just been informed that Maria prefers a British accent over a Southern or Scottish one. Good one, Maria! I might have to expand my choices. 🙂

Kilt or Leather pants? Leather pants

Print book or e-reader? E-reader


Here’s a peek into Dancing in the Sand ~


An accomplished dance major in New York City, Ava Harrington is pursuing her dream of becoming a professional in a national dance company.  But a celebratory weekend in Newport, where she meets the man of her fantasies, has devastating consequences that change her life forever.

Brian Stanhope, a Harvard graduate, poised to join his father’s company, suffers a brain injury in a horseback riding accident, which affects his memory. He has no recollection of his graduation party weekend or the beautiful dancer who turned his head and stole his heart.

When they reunite eight years later, the magic of their powerful attraction binds them together, but the past holds a secret that even love may not be able to overcome.


“Black spandex is not generally appropriate for tennis, but I’m sure the guys won’t mind.” Brian smirked as he took in his sister’s get-up and that of her friend, as the three met in the downstairs hall of their vacation home in Newport.

He raised a brow in appreciation as his eyes grazed over the lithe creature standing next to Carrie, dressed in black tights, black leotard, and black ballet slippers. He knew the uniform of the dancer. At his parents’ insistence, he’d gone to dozens of recitals over the years, ever since his little sister became addicted to dance when she was five.

“Hello to you, too, big brother.” Carrie attempted a scowl, but her grin broke through. No matter how hard she tried, she could never be annoyed with him for long.

Brian grabbed her into a bear hug and avoided his usual ribbing, given the presence of a guest. And a beautiful one at that.

“Glad you could make it for the weekend.” He released Carrie and turned his attention to her friend. “Aren’t you going to introduce us?” He zeroed in on royal blue eyes, an intense color he had never seen before.

“This is my roommate, Ava.”

“Nice to meet you, Ava.” He held out his hand and shook hers, noticing a gorgeous smile to go along with her gorgeous eyes “Have you ever been to our Newport house before?”

“No. This is the first time.” Ava’s voice was quiet, shy. “Carrie invited me to your graduation party weekend. I hope you don’t mind.”

An unfamiliar vulnerability surfaced on her expressive face. Not like Carrie at all, who was outgoing, charismatic, and the opposite of vulnerable.

“Since you two apparently aren’t joining us, what are your plans?”

“We’re working on our project for a summer choreography course we’re taking. We’ll be performing it for the showcase.” The glint in Carrie’s eyes told him she hardly considered it work. “We’ll catch up with you later. Have fun.”

Carrie pulled Ava down the hall to her very own hardwood floor dance studio, a gift from their parents on her thirteenth birthday. Now she had a friend to share it with. They may never emerge. Unacceptable. He would have to pull out all the stops to assure their presence—at least Ava’s—at the different events over the weekend.

With his sights now set on her, there was no way he was going to let her slip through his fingers.

Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble Nook

All Romance



The Wild Rose Press

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  1. Dianne

    Absolutely loved this book. Thank you for sharing the excerpt.

  2. Sometimes our dreams can really torture us! I have to write things down or I forget them. And I write a little bit of me in every story.

    • So true, Susabelle! If I don’t write it down, poof, it’s gone! Funny you mention how you write a bit of yourself in every story…I recently took a look at all four of my heroines I’ve written and laughed out-loud. Each of them has a bit of my personality. It wasn’t until my sister told me that my second heroine had a “character flaw” that was mine. And this was only because I mentioned to her that I was removing said “flaw” from the book. Well, after several discussions, I left my heroine alone. Now, I’m self-conscious of this act. Psst…I talk far too much with my hands. 😉

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