Title The Blueberry Swirl Waltz
Author Maria Imbalzano
Genre Historical Romance (1950’s)
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
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.
The setting for this book is based on my grandmother’s ice cream shop in Roebling, NJ and the heroine’s passion for dance comes from my mother. See two interviews of my mother along with photos from the 50s at https://mariaimbalzano.com/blog/
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. They stood, motionless, until she broke the spell. “Let me put on some waltz music. Then you can feel the rhythm.”
She wiped her damp hands against her skirt. This was what she wanted. Alone time with Chaz. But was she fooling herself into thinking this could be something more than a summer friendship that would end the day she moved back to Trenton?
The music started, and she pulled her professional dance teacher persona around her as a protective shield. Then she took up her place in front of him.
“Your left arm goes here, at my waist, and your right hand holds mine. Up here. I know it feels awkward, but your shoulders should be squared to maintain an elegant line.”
Katie led him around the room, spinning with each set of steps, and eventually she was lost to the music, the rhythm, and the connection pulling her closer. The glide of their feet whispered across the floor, transporting her to another world in which Chaz’s strong embrace chased her questions away.
Barnes and Noble (Nook)
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.
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