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N. N. Light's Book Heaven presents Maria Imbalzano #authorspotlight #womensfiction #romance #mustread



I’m a Jersey Girl who loves our beaches as well as the cultural events that are so easy to access here. Living an hour from New York City, as well as Philadelphia, allows me to enjoy the quiet of the suburbs but get my city-fix whenever I want. Plus, there is no shortage of music venues, sports arenas and theaters in my home state, all of which I take full advantage.

 

I recently retired from the practice of law and now write full-time. However lawyers and legal issues have a way of showing up in many of my novels. “Unchained Memories” pits a medical malpractice lawyer against an ER doctor, “Dancing in the Sand” includes an environmental lawyer who runs up against a fracking company owner, “Return to Wylder” has a commercial real estate lawyer trying to disentangle herself from a demanding hotel owner, and “Sworn to Remember” is a reunion story where two lawyers have very different views of their future careers, and therefore lives. 

 

My award-winning contemporary novels showcase strong, independent women and the men who fall in love with them. These emotional stories will pull on your heartstrings, and at times you will laugh, cry, sigh, inhale…and fall in love.

 

I’m a member of New Jersey Romance Writers and have received many honors and awards for my work including the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award, the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers Award, The NEST (National Excellence In Story Telling) Award, the Carolyn Award, The Stiletto Reader’s Choice Award, Book Buyers Best Award, Long & Short Reviews Book of the Month Award, the Firebird Award, and Still Moments Magazine Reader’s Choice Award.

 

When I’m not writing, I’m either travelling with my husband, hanging out with my mom (who is 96), or spending time with my two daughters and three granddaughters. Everyone lives in the area which makes it easy and fun.

 

Our recent trips took me to Spain, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece and Alaska. I haven’t written any novels that are set in those fabulous destinations, but my latest book, “Island Detour,” takes place in the Florida Keys—an homage to Key West—a favorite haunt of ours.

 

During my career as a lawyer, I served on several non-profit Boards including Thomas Edison State University Foundation, Dress for Success Central New Jersey, The American Cancer Society (Mercer County), The Princeton Ballet (now the American Repertory Theater) and the McCorristin Catholic High School Scholarship Committee.

 

I received the distinguished Family of Edison Award for my 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.

 

I live in Lawrenceville, NJ with my husband and also spend time in Bradley Beach where you will find me in the summer either reading on the beach or front porch, or writing while listening to the waves roll in.

 

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Title  Island Detour

Author Maria Imbalzano

Genre    Contemporary Romance

Publisher The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb

 

Falsely accused of wrongdoing at a Princeton Prep school, Sophie Kearns accepts a temporary teaching position at an environmental school in the Florida Keys to wait out her suspension. The time away is meant to be an anxiety-free escape, but her clashes with the hot but arrogant marine biology teacher, Max Heaton, are anything but tranquil.

 

Max is determined to start an environmental research institute at the school, but he suspects the gorgeous new Lit teacher, who lacks even the most basic outdoor skills, is there to hinder that dream. Yet, something about her tames the demons from his past, and he can no longer ignore the fire she’s lit inside him.

 

Excerpt

 

How’d Sophie end up working with women who could have been in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue?

 

She glanced down at her own one-piece halter and smoothed out an imaginary wrinkle. Not ready to venture back to the bikinis of her college days, she’d chosen a lime-green hue that looked great against her tan. And even though her midriff wasn’t bare, the high-cut detail on her legs showed plenty of skin. At least she wasn’t embarrassed standing next to Maddie. Or the other two.

 

She’d come a long way from the buttoned-up professor at Valen, thanks to her new friends here. After their shopping spree in Key West, they’d made sure to compliment Sophie on her new look—obviously afraid that if they didn’t, she’d go back to her old ways. And it had worked. Along with the exercise she was getting from boating and swimming, she looked and felt like a new woman.

 

Stealing a glance at Max, she assumed he’d be staring at Maddie. A slow burn crept across her face when his gaze fell on her.

 

His mocha eyes blazed a scorching trail as they traveled up her legs, her torso, then stopped at her face. She turned and looked out over the ocean, swallowing hard, to banish this erotic discomfort. But try as she might to ignore his scrutiny, she felt it deep down in the pit of her stomach as fingers of heat spread over her skin, doing much more damage than the sun.

 

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Author Biography

 

My love of reading dates back to my childhood when I would borrow at least four books from the library every week. During the summer, I would sit in the house and read, until my mother, totally frustrated, would send me outside to play and lock me out. I always found my way back in. However, I must confess, I hated to write. In every English and writing class throughout college, I dreaded trying to be creative. As a friend from law school so aptly put it, “The reason why we’re here is because we don’t have a creative bone in our bodies.”

 

Despite my dislike of creative writing back then, I embraced legal writing, and was first published in Volume 5 of the Fordham International Law Journal. My article was entitled “In re Mackin: Is the Application of the Political Offense Exception an Extradition Issue for the Judicial or Executive Branch?” I would advise you against reading it, for you will surely fall asleep.

 

While practicing law as a divorce attorney, I decided to try for some balance in my life and began writing romance. Thankfully, I found my creative bone. Instead of only drafting motions, legal memoranda, and briefs, although fascinating, I started to spend my free time creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys through my contemporary romance novels.

 

And now I have ten published books.

 

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Title Dancing In the Sand

Author Maria Imbalzano

Genre   Contemporary Romance

Publisher  The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb

 

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.

 

Excerpt

 

        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.

 

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Title  Sworn to Forget

Author Maria Imbalzano

Genre    Women’s Fiction/Romance

Publisher The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb  

 

By all appearances, Nicki Reading is a star. PR director at a major music label, Nicki is sharp, successful, independent and confidently calls the shots. She dates whom she wants, when she wants, with no strings attached.  But beneath that shine, loneliness flickers.  Events from her past prove love leads only to pain. Commitment is not an option.

 

Until Dex Hanover, a classy, principled, and prosperous CPA, enters the picture. Undeterred by his unhappy childhood, he has an amazing capacity to be both caring and generous; giving his free time as a mentor for a child from the projects. Dex wears his paternal yearnings on his sleeve and he is at a point in his life where commitment is the only option. 

 

Despite their opposing views, Nicki and Dex ignite each other. But will events from their pasts ruin their challenging relationship and prevent them from experiencing everlasting love?

 

Excerpt

 

     Nicki searched the bar for two empty stools, hoping she hadn’t misunderstood the signal. It wouldn’t fare well for her ego to be rejected twice in the same ten minutes.

 

    “What’ll it be?” asked the bartender as he cleared the space in front of her.

 

    “Margarita, rocks, no salt.”

 

    “I’ll have a vodka martini. Straight up.” His deep voice curled around her. “Is this seat taken?”

 

    Without waiting for her response, he sat, his knee brushing against her thigh in a sizzling flash.

 

    Whoa. She inched away, feeling the burn straight down to her toes. This guy was on fire.


She held out her hand. “I’m Nicki Reading.”

 

    He took it and brought her fingers to his lips. “Dex Hanover.”  Green eyes with a hint of gray hooked hers, the intensity a bit overwhelming.  In a good way.

 

    She withdrew her hand, needing some space, some air. And a cold shower. Raising her glass to him, she used her silkiest voice. “Nice to meet you, Dex Hanover.”

 

    He clinked her glass with his, and his crooked smile turned into a full-blown attraction. “Nicki.”

 

    His inflection did funny things to her insides. She sipped her drink trusting the cool liquid would douse the small fire within before it got out of control.

 

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Title  Sworn to Remember

Author   Maria Imbalzano

Genre     Women’s Fiction/Romance

Publisher The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb  

 

Blindsided by her husband's infidelity, Samantha Winslow, an up-and-coming NYC attorney, takes a leave of absence, jeopardizing her rise to partnership. Facing divorce, she heads to Crescent Beach to heal.

 

Buoyed by advice and solace from her lifelong girlfriends, Sam gains insight into how her complicated teen years set her on her workaholic path—a path which destroyed her marriage.

 

Although not looking for male distraction, she meets local lawyer, Michael McCain. Their time together is magical but comes to an abrupt end when Sam returns to NYC and achieves partnership. Will Sam finally recognize that life is about balance, compromise, and love?

 

Excerpt

 

The volleyball guy got off his stool and crouched on the floor. “Let me help.”

 

His voice was deep and smooth. Now, only inches away, a thrill ran up her arm as he handed her some errant coins. She found his eyes. Beautiful blue eyes. Caribbean Sea eyes. Familiar eyes.

 

“Hi, Sam.” His brow furrowed as he said her name, although his tone indicated no question.

 

She froze in place as she stared at him. “M…Michael McCain?” His name fell between them.

 

He nodded.

 

Her pounding heart thrummed in her ears. Michael. It couldn’t be. And yet…those eyes…

 

He smiled. “I didn’t realize it was you the other day. But I see now.”

 

They were still crouched on the floor, and Michael reached out to take her hand and raise her up with him. Her head swam, and she grabbed the counter to steady herself. After all these years. He looked completely different. Gone was the long, shaggy hair. The lanky physique. Instead, he was built like a man who frequented the gym, and his sun-streaked hair was combed into place. Her teenage crush stood before her looking amazingly gorgeous, and that old familiar current flashed through her.

 

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Title   Sworn to Fly

Author Maria Imbalzano

Genre    Women’s Fiction/Romance

Publisher The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb

 

Risk-averse ER nurse, Alyssa Beckman, is about to lose her job because of yet another bad decision. In order to put her life back on track, she books a week at a rustic mountain resort to ponder her next steps and rejuvenate. But when she arrives, she learns she’s enrolled in boot camp, an adventure program far out of her comfort zone.

 

While there, she meets Gabriel Sutton, a world-travelling high fashion photographer who is in danger of losing his clients as well as his status if he doesn’t start following the rules.  While hiking, kayak racing, and participating in team challenges, sparks fly between Alyssa and Gabe as they encourage each other to take different life paths. But will those paths lead them farther apart or bring them closer together? 

 

Excerpt

 

“Why so quiet?” he asked after a while.

 

“I’m meditating.”

 

“Really?”

 

She laughed—a welcome sound. “No. I didn’t take the class yet. I thought I’d just let you do your thing.”

 

“I can do my thing while talking.” He pointed his camera in her direction and took a photo.

 

“Can you please give me some warning when you’re going to do that? I can see my request that you not take my picture has fallen on deaf ears, so you can at least give me a heads-up.” She pulled a stemmy reed from her hair.

 

“Sorry. Can’t do. That’s not the way I work. I like candid shots when the subject isn’t prepared. They’re the best.”

 

“So I’m a subject now?”

 

Gabe headed over and sat down beside her, his leg touching hers. A shock wave coursed through him. He inhaled slowly, trying to take back control. When her arm brushed against his, the wave vied with sparks and heat.

 

Russet eyes held his for only a moment before she disconnected.

 

He cleared his throat, hoping to clear his head. “You’re an amazing subject. The photos I took of you yesterday on our little walk were so natural. The intensity of your eyes when you were helping Missy, the sympathy on your face, even though you were the ultimate professional—portrayed a nurse in action, helping a patient. Beautiful.”

 

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1 Comment


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Apr 12

Thank you, Maria, for sharing your writing journey and books!

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