The Blueberry Swirl Waltz
by Maria Imbalzano
GENRE: Historical Romance (1950s)
After a family crisis, Katie Hathaway must return home to help out in the family’s ice cream shop. She leaves behind her dream job of teaching ballroom dance to spend her summer scooping ice cream and mixing milkshakes.
Chaz Hollander, Katie’s high school crush, has also returned to town to work in his family’s business. After Katie treats him to a blueberry swirl sundae, he invites her to the town’s upcoming dance. The only problem is he has two left feet.
When Katie starts giving Chaz dance lessons, their chemistry ignites, and the postponement of her dream doesn’t seem as ominous. But financial woes and a suspicious business deal cast a shadow on their budding relationship.
His sexy smile fluttered her heart. But truthfully, she didn’t know what to think anymore. His kisses had branded her heart and seared her soul. But they both knew she wouldn’t follow him out of New Jersey. Yet she wanted more, needed more. While they’d spent almost every night together dancing, and he’d often pop into the shop during the day if he was in the area, he hadn’t asked her out on a real date.
In an attempt to suffocate the fire burning deep within, she hid behind her instructor role. “A waltz is a ballroom dance in three quarter time with a strong accent on the first beat and a basic pattern of step-step close.” Katie stood to demonstrate on her own, holding her arms out as if she had a partner. “The music has a certain cadence. Songs that you may know to waltz to are Blue Danube or The Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker Suite.”
She moved around the room counting one, two, three, one, two, three. “You’ll notice that the one-step is held a little longer than steps two and three.”
He stood and slid into her arms. “This would be much easier if you had a partner.” His deep voice rumbled through her, disturbing all her cells.
“It would.” She raised her eyes to his and got lost in their depths.
I literally just finished this book and wow, just wow. Keep in mind it is short but Ms. Imbalzano’s hits all the right buttons with this one. She keeps it simple, yet complex, short, yet sweet and she talks about things that I LOVE…ballroom dancing, ice cream, and blueberries. Plus, as a child that spent her teen years in the ’80s, I felt like an old soul. Like 1950’s soul, which is the setting for this story.
Why should I tell you these things about me? So you will understand my love for this story. It is packed with a lot but Ms. Imbalzano keeps it going. Plus, I really liked Katie and Chaz. Their relationship is believable and sweet. High school classmates but Katie always had a thing for Chaz. I admired Katie’s dreams to leave her small town. Back in those days, it wasn’t easy for a single girl to leave after school to move to another town, get a job and a place to live without a man or her family. She has dreams and goals. But sometimes those dreams and goals change a bit whether you like it or not.
I didn’t feel like I got to know Chaz all that well but I understood his character. Remember the story is short and really this is Katie’s story, not his. I also could answer his reaction to what Katie did about halfway through the book. I’d be mad, too. Did he need to shut her out? Not really but I understood. It was time for Katie to shine and finally figure out what she really wanted to do with her life. Again, Ms. Imbalzano doesn’t let her characters mope around and feel sorry for themselves. Katie got off her rear and did something about it. I loved her trying to “bribe” the clerk with pie.
This book is just downright fun and makes me want to pull out my copy of Strictly Ballroom and watch for the, I don’t know, millionth time. Plus, I need some blueberries and ice cream. She writes with a depth of her characters, her setting is downright awesome and it’s the perfect addition to this line for The Wild Rose Press.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Maria Imbalzano is a retired matrimonial lawyer who now writes full time. Instead of drafting motions, legal memoranda, and briefs, although fascinating, she now spends her days creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys through her contemporary romance novels.
In addition to writing fiction, Maria is on the Friends of Thomas Edison State University Foundation Committee and is still involved with Dress for Success Central Jersey, having been a founding Board member. She also serves on the finance committee for The Present Day Club. She has received the distinguished Family of Edison Award for her work with The Thomas Edison State University Foundation, the Iron Mike Professional Achievement Award from Trenton Catholic Academy and was inducted into the Italian American National Hall of Fame.
Her novel, “Unchained Memories,” won the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers’ Award and the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award. “Sworn to Forget,” the first of the four-book Sworn Sisters Series was a finalist for the illustrious RONE award as well as the Book Buyers Best Award.
Visit Maria at www.mariaimbalzano.com
Buy Links for The Blueberry Swirl Waltz
Barnes and Noble (Nook)
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.