Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Dancing in the Sand by Maria Imbalzano ♥ Fun Facts, Book Tour & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Contemporary Romance)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dancing in the Sand by Maria Imbalzano ♥ Fun Facts, Book Tour & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Contemporary Romance)

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.

The beginning 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.
I chose Newport, Rhode Island as the place where my hero and heroine first meet. I love Newport – the mansions, the cliff walk, the town, the lobster. I thought that would be a beautiful, romantic place to spend a weekend so I created an estate where the hero’s family has a vacation home. And horses.
The heroine is a dance major at NYU. I love dance and took lessons for years including ballet, tap and modern jazz. I suppose Ava is my alter-ego. During college and thereafter, I’d gone to dozens of ballets and modern dance performances in the City, always wondering what it would be like to be a professional dancer. When I worked in New York, one of the partners at my law firm had season tickets to the ballet, and anytime he couldn’t make it, I was the beneficiary of those tickets.
The setting for “Dancing in the Sand” is New York City. Ever since I was little, and watched “That Girl” with Marlo Thomas (yes, I’m dating myself), I wanted to live and work in NYC. Upon graduation from college, that’s where I headed. Before attending law school, I was a paralegal at a large NYC law firm on Park Avenue. Some of my most fun experiences happened during those years – hanging out with friends in the Village, going to opening nights at museums, jogging around the reservoir, dancing at clubs (which were discos at the time). I loved the theater as well as ballet and back then, you could buy $2 seats in the last two rows for the ballet. You could also walk into any theater after intermission and no one checked for tickets, so I saw many second-half plays. As a result of having lived and worked in New York, it was easy to come up with places and experiences for my hero and heroine – although I do have a confession to make. I never saw “Book of Mormon.”
The heroine, Ava, is from Lawrenceville, NJ – my town. Her sister and niece live there and she goes to visit many weekends by taking the train from the City. There is a scene at a local hospital, which I named Nassau General, located in Princeton. Princeton was the setting in my first book, “Unchained Memories,” and Nassau General played a prominent role, since the hero worked there.
So there you have it. Some fun facts and behind the scenes info on “Dancing in the Sand.” I hope you enjoy the book.

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.


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.


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  1. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

  2. "May not be listening". I'm always doing three things at the same time so when I speak to my daughters or friends on the phone I may also be reading emails at work or reviewing a document. My one daughter catches me all the time. She knows by my vague response that I'm not really listening to her.

  3. Loved the cover and the excerpt.

  4. Thanks Rita. I liked answering the question. Have a great day.

  5. I enjoyed the fun facts and excerpt - really great post! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thank you for hosting this giveaway and also the book sounds like a great read thank you

  7. Thank you for hosting this giveaway and also the book sounds like a great read thank you

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you get a chance to read it.

  8. Contemporary romance is a favorite genre of mine to read, What about you, Maria Imbalzano ?

    1. Hi Deanne. It's not only my favorite to write but my favorite to read. Thanks for stopping by

  9. Sounds like a great book, put it on my must read list.

    1. Thanks Teresa. With so many great books to read it's hard to keep up. 😄

  10. I loved the excerpt and am looking forward to reading it.


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