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How to keep your writing differentby Alana AlbertsonHave you ever picked up a book and been certain you’ve read it before, only to learn it had just been released? This reading déjà vu could be attributed to a writer mimicking the style of another writer. Of course, it’s hard as a writer to keep your words, plots, and characters fresh—especially if you are writing for a genre like romance.For me, the most important way to remain unique is to cultivate your voice. Though all your characters are different, a writer’s fresh voice should be a common thread the weaves through your novels. That thread—whether wry and sarcastic, romantic and sweet, or sexy and dangerous, will keep your readers coming back for more.This voice is difficult to cultivate. Sometime critique groups will slay your words and you will lose that unique quality. Stay true to your voice by writing daily, trusting your instincts, and always striving to be original.
Love Waltzes In
By Alana Albertson
Dancing Under the Stars, Book 1
Publisher: Bolero Books, LLC.
Release Date: July 14, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 202 Pages
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GET READY WHEN LOVE WALTZES IN!
To her millions of fans, ballroom champion Selena Marcil seems to have the perfect life: a great dance partner, a hit reality show, and celebrity perks. But underneath the glamorous ball gowns, Selena longs to find someone to share her life with when the stage lights dim.
Selena’s childhood sweetheart, Bret Lord, hung up his dance shoes after winning two national titles with her as a teenager, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He never saw his former fiancée again, except on television and on the cover of men’s magazines. Ten years and three deployments later, Bret gets an offer to audition for Selena’s dance show. When the Marine Corps gives him temporary leave to appear on the series, Bret can’t refuse the quick cash that will enable him to provide financially for the widow of his buddy, even if it does mean coming face to face with his past.
When Bret shows up at her national championship, Selena is shocked. For years she searched for him to no avail. After spending time with Bret, Selena realizes despite their past romance, they have no future. He has no desire to live under a spotlight and she has no desire to leave it. Can Selena and Bret recognize when Love Waltzes In?
Alana Albertson is the former President of both Romance Writers of Americas’s Young Adult and Chick Lit chapters and the founder of Academe Advantage, a college admissions & test preparation company. Alana Albertson holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. A recovering professional ballroom dancer, Alana currently writes contemporary romance and young adult fiction.
Alana lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two young sons, and four dogs. When she’s not spending her time needlepointing, dancing, or saving dogs from high kill shelters through Pugs N Roses, the rescue she founded, she can be found watching episodes of House Hunters, Homeland, or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
My ReviewBorn with a love of music, and two left feet, I fell in love with dance, and dance movies, at a young age. Reminding me of what I love best about dance movies, Love Waltzes In by Alana Albertson is a well paced, sexy contemporary second chance romance. Well developed characters, good dialogue, plenty of emotional angst and a good romance kept me turning the pages to discover Brett and Selena could put their differences aside long enough to discover their love could make things work out.Dancing from the time she was a small kid, Selena Marcil has always wanted to win the professional dance competition in Blackpool, England. Being a celebrity dance “star” on Dancing Under the Stars helps pay the bills, gives her the ability to continue to afford competing and keeps her in competitive shape. While she knows she should be grateful for what she has, and she is, Selena also knows her life isn’t quite what she had hoped; she’s still single and wants a family. She even wonders if pursing one dream has resulted in the loneliness that’s become a part of her life.A former dancer turned Marine; Brett Lord was once Selena’s dance partner and fiancée. Tired of the superficial life of a dancer, Brett chose to join the Marines. Receiving a “Dear John” letter, Brett has focused on his life in the military and the real people he fights for every day. When his old dance instructor offers him a chance to represent the Marines and make enough money to help out a deceased buddies family, Brett jumps at the chance. He just didn’t plan on reuniting with the woman who broke his heart.The scenes between Selena and Brett are well written, have plenty of emotional angst and plenty of physical chemistry. While they’ve both matured, they still have unresolved issues from their past; Brett’s still hurt by how Selena dumped him and Selena’s worried about letting him get too close. Contrasting their emotional reunion with their competition on the dance floor, Ms. Albertson lets us see the differences between their lives, their goals and what drove them apart.The secondary characters are also well developed and are an interesting bunch. From Benny, their old dance instructor and Selena’s manager, to Dima, Selena’s current dance partner, and his constantly roving eye, they all contribute something to bringing Selena and Brett back together. Ms. Albertson does a good job managing all of her characters, on and off the page, and making me feel as if I’m seeing the dances she’s describing.Will Brett and Selena learn to let go of the past and open their hearts to a new future? And will they learn they can spend their future together? You’ll have to read Love Waltzes In to find out, I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book in the series, Waltz on the Wild Side.My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a blog tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. I received no additional compensation for my opinion of the reading material provided.