Island Detour


Island Detour

by Maria Imbalzano

GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Just because you have issues shouldn’t mean you can’t trust anyone but yourself.” The second the words were out of her mouth, she knew she’d gone too far. But he had started it. And frankly, she didn’t care if she had struck a nerve.

His jaw clenched, an almost imperceptible movement. After a few seconds he bowed his head and sighed. Then he turned his back to her, picked up his rod, and cast the line into the ocean. No comeback. No smart remark. A minor victory. Had she really gotten in the last word this time?

Unfortunately, she couldn’t let it go.

“Is that how you deal with conflict? You turn around and ignore it?”

She was definitely pushing the envelope now, but he deserved it. One didn’t just end an argument by turning away. He needed to stick with it. Fight it out. Until the bitter end.

She watched him in profile, the brooding, detached fisherman whose lips rarely inched into a smile, whose eyes rarely sparkled, and whose cutting words were meant to slice—and hurt. Which they did.

Sophie looked over at Ben, who had remained quiet during their little altercation. He held his finger to his lips as if to say enough.

She itched to continue but followed his unspoken suggestion. He knew Max a lot better than she did. And sometimes, she just had to let things settle down.

About the Author:

Maria Imbalzano is an award-winning contemporary author who writes about strong, independent women and the men who fall in love with them. She recently retired from the practice of law, but legal issues have a way of showing up in many of her novels. When not writing, she loves to travel both abroad and in the states.  Maria lives in central New Jersey with her husband--not far from her two daughters and granddaughters. For more information about her books, please visit her website at where you can also sign up for her newsletter.


Maria is a member of New Jersey Romance Writers and has received many honors and awards for her 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, Book Buyers Best Award, The Stiletto Reader’s Choice Award, Long & Short Reviews Book of the Month Award (3rd Place for Book of the Year), and Still Moments Magazine Reader’s Choice Award.

Q&A With the Author: 

What was your inspiration for writing this book? 

Twenty years ago, I had learned about a school in the Bahamas that was associated with The Lawrenceville School – a private high school that is about a mile from my house.  It was a semester abroad type program for high school students where they would learn about the marine environment and conservation while continuing their normal studies. I was intrigued. So I asked a lot of questions back then about this opportunity for students, and developed a story based on this setting. Although The Island School is in Eleuthera in the Bahamas, I set my story in a similar environment but placed it in the Florida Keys. 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I love opposites attract and fish-out of water stories. In “Island Detour”, Sophie is way out of her comfort zone when she agrees to teach at Sunrise Island School. Although she has her PhD in Literature and is an excellent teacher, she does not fare well when she has to kayak, swim, fish, or camp—requirements for teachers at the school. I had the most fun putting her in those circumstances and then having her deal with Max who has a problem with her being there in the first place..   

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?

I am working on the fourth book in my Sworn Sisters Series, called “Sworn to Fly.”  Denise is the last of the Sworn Sisters to have her story told. Unfortunately, the book is giving me a bit of trouble, and while I had intended to have it published before “Island Detour,” I decided to rewrite it as a Then and Now story.  As a result, I am knee deep in meshing the past and present stories into a cohesive book. 

Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?

There are so many interesting characters in “Island Detour” that I plan to tell some of their stories. I already started plotting the next one. I’m hoping the readers of this book will weigh in on whose story they would like to read next.   

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?  

This book had a tortured journey. It was originally called “Island Fever” and I had written the first draft thirteen years ago. After sending it out to agents and publishers, and after receiving no positive response, I put it in a drawer with my other unpublished manuscripts.  That was three years before I received my first publishing contract for a different book—“Unchained Memories.”  I never went back to “Island Fever” until two years ago. I had always loved the story and now that I had nine books published and much more experience, I edited it and polished it until it was ready for another try.  Thankfully, I received a contract. Unfortunately, I had to change the title because there were other books out there with the same name-thus, it is now “Island Detour.” But I do think that my lucky number is ten. This will be my tenth published novel, and I’m thrilled that my readers will finally get to meet Sophie and Max as they navigate through their past struggles and current conflicts. 

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Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for hosting me today. I tried to post this a while ago, but it wasn't working. I had to change my password - again. (sigh)

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Rita. I hope you get a chance to read it. Maria

  3. This sounds like a good romance. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Beautiful cover. Sounds like a good read for sure.

    1. Hi Katie: I love the cover too. And I loved writing the book.

  5. Replies
    1. Hi Cali: Thanks for stopping by. Good luck with the giveaway.

  6. The book details are very interesting.

  7. Thank you for sharing about your book!

  8. Enjoyed reading today's post. It sounds like a great book.

  9. i love romances set on islands.. and this one sounds like another i will enjoy

  10. This looks awesome! Thanks for hosting this giveaway.


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