Christine Young

I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time

Christine Presents ~ Dancing in the Sand by Maria Imbalzano

Please welcome Maria Imbalzano author of Dancing in the Sand.

Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.


Dancing in the Sand

by Maria Imbalzano



What or who inspired you to start writing?

I was reading a best-seller and was annoyed with the author for saying the same thing three pages apart. I said to myself, “I could do this.” And that began my journey toward becoming an author. I learned very quickly that it’s not as easy as a reader may think. But I joined New Jersey Romance Writers and went to countless seminars and conferences, trying to incorporate what I learned into the manuscripts I was writing. It has taken me a lot of time, effort and persistence to get to this point, but I have loved every minute of it and look forward to continuing the process for a long time to come.
What expertise did you bring to your writing?

I’m a divorce lawyer and as a lawyer, I write motions, legal memoranda and briefs – a world away from creative writing. I was never much of a creative writer during my school years and frankly, had no idea where to start when I got it in my head that I wanted to write a romance novel. About 17 years ago, a flier came across my desk for a seminar called “How to Write Your Book In 14 Days (A Lawyer’s Guide)”. The seminar was exactly what I needed to get started – although to this day, I have not been able to write a book in fourteen days.


If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I would be the heroine of “Dancing in the Sand”, Ava Woodward, as a college student. Ava attends NYU as a dance major and she is a powerhouse in ballet and modern dance. Her goal is to audition for the major dance companies in New York City and get a job as a professional dancer. I love dance and took lessons for years including ballet, tap and modern jazz. Performing on stage was such a high, even if it was only at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ.

Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?

I have belonged to a critique group for the last eleven years. My critique partners are my greatest critics and they shred each chapter (in a nice way) to help make it better. Their insights into character development, plot and story arc help tremendously in making my manuscripts better. As an author, I am too close to my story to see all the flaws. It is very helpful to have other eyes on your work; eyes that you trust. It is also helpful to read their chapters and see what isn’t working. Learning from others mistakes is just as important as learning from my own. I would never want to work without a critique group.

When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?

I attended the RWA National Conference in Washington DC without knowing a soul. I signed up to meet with editors to discuss my manuscript and was asked for a synopsis and partial. Being naïve, I had no idea how much I didn’t know about writing. Attending the seminars at the national conference as well as at NJRW’s conference after that, was an eye-opening experience. I learned a substantial amount about the craft of writing at these conferences. I eventually submitted my manuscript to NJRW’s Put Your Heart in a Book Contest and came in first. That gave me the confidence to submit to many agents and editors. I contracted with an agent soon thereafter.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I’m a plotter. I start with Chapter One and make a very detailed outline of every chapter from beginning to end. Although this method is a little over the top, it makes it easier for me to sit down at the computer and write (even if I only have a half hour) since I know where I left off and where I am going. While my story line may change as I go along – depending on where the characters take me – it is still easier to veer off and come back to my outline at any given juncture. I also cut out photos from magazines for reference to help me remember what my hero, heroine, and secondary characters look like. Being well organized works for me.

What is your favorite reality show?

My love for dance compels me to watch “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” The talent on the latter show is amazing and I am in awe of the choreography. In my book “Dancing in the Sand,” Ava’s mother had deserted the family to go to California to work as a choreographer on a television dance show. In my mind, she choreographs for “So You Think You Can Dance.”

As far as writing goes, what are your future plans?

I hope to keep writing for a long time to come. My younger daughter has just graduated from college and even though I have a career as a lawyer, I have much more free time to dedicate to writing.


Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your


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. My goal is to make this a four book series.

Can you tell us a little bit about what is is like to write a series.

The “Weekend Diaries” series is my first attempt to write a series. The difficulty comes after writing the first book. I am now working on the second and I’m running into issues with the timeline because of what I’ve already done in the first book. Thankfully, I haven’t sent the first book to my publisher yet, because I can go back and adjust what isn’t syncing between the two books. In order to avoid these types of problems in the future, I’ve learned that it would be best to outline all the books in the series before sending out the first for publication. This will assure they all work together as a unit



An accomplished dance major in New York City, Ava Woodward 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.



Approaching his sister’s dance studio to the right, he heard a pounding beat, not at all similar to the classical music that fueled Carrie’s usual dance practices. He stopped to watch through a small square window off to the side. Ava, dressed in a black leotard and tights, leaped and twirled through the air like a spinning top, set on its course around the circumference of the room while Carrie spun in a more

confined area in the center of the room.

Brian’s eyes sought Ava as her tight body coiled and released, coiled and released. Her arms were at once fragile and muscled, highlighting biceps and long, graceful fingers, sweeping through the air to mirror her legs. Her leaps were huge, with powerful extension and maximum air between her and the floor. No sooner would she land than she’d pull her limbs into herself and pirouette on her toes, spinning fast enough to make him question the physics of it all. This was no prissy ballet. This was fast and furious modern dance where you could feel the beat in your throat. Okay, maybe he’d experienced a little too much dance in his life, but

this was definitely as good as anything he’d seen on the New York stage. Ava was even better than his sister.

What happened to the shy, vulnerable girl he’d just met? On the dance floor, she was a powerhouse. Full of confidence, energy, and magnetism.

When the music ended, he stood rooted to the floor, and his hands came up in a spontaneous clap.

“Who’s out there?” Carrie flung open the door to reveal their intruder.

“Brian, what are you doing here? I thought you were playing tennis.”

“I am. I was. I-I had to come in for more balls.”

He stared at Ava, with her dark brown hair pulled tight in a bun at the nape of her neck, drops of sweat beading on her chest just above the scoop of her leotard

and above her full upper lip. Hot and sexy. He swallowed, fantasizing about licking the moisture from her mouth, her neck, molding that cute little powerful

body into his.

“Then why are you just standing there?” Carrie placed her hands on her hips, challenging him to stop staring at her friend and walk away.

“I’m going.” He backed away from the door, but couldn’t seem to make his body turn and move down the hall.

Until Carrie slammed the door in his face.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Maria Imbalzano is a matrimonial lawyer in central New Jersey where she not only uses her law degree to navigate her clients through the court system, but her psychology degree to guide them through their personal struggles. While writing motions, legal memoranda, and briefs is fascinating, it pales in comparison to creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys.

In addition to practicing law and writing fiction, Maria enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters either at home or at the Jersey Shore.

Visit Maria at



Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.

Please use this rafflecopter code:“>Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>



8 comments on “Christine Presents ~ Dancing in the Sand by Maria Imbalzano

  1. Goddess Fish Promotions
    September 24, 2015

    Thank you for hosting

  2. Roselle Torres
    September 24, 2015

    Love the excerpt and I’m excited to read this book 🙂

    • Maria Imbalzano
      September 24, 2015

      Thanks for stopping by Roselle. I’d love to hear from you after you read the book. Let me know what you think.

  3. achristay
    September 24, 2015

    Welcome to my blog. I hope you have a great tour.

  4. Cali W.
    September 24, 2015

    Thanks for the giveaway! I like the excerpt. 🙂

  5. Victoria
    September 24, 2015

    Great interview, I really enjoyed reading it!

  6. Mai Tran
    September 25, 2015

    Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2015 by in Uncategorized.

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