Guest Post: Maria Imbalzano, Author of Unchained Memories


How “Unchained Memories” Came About –

And Other Thoughts

By Maria Imbalzano

When I was younger and couldn’t sleep, I would make up stories in my head. One of those stories was about a romantic reunion between a doctor and a previous patient who came back to visit at the hospital. After writing several other manuscripts, I remembered this story and decided to work with it. I determined that the heroine would be a medical malpractice lawyer to ramp up the conflict between her and her old crush, the ER doctor. And I always like the idea of family conflict, so I gave the heroine a reason to come back to her hometown, causing the deep-seated resentment of her sister to come to a head. The setting was easy because I live near Princeton and I love the town – a perfect combination of quaint shops, the University campus, and historic and cultural sites. Armed with a hero, heroine, their careers and a setting, I then developed the story line, along with the characters’ personalities. That’s the fun part. Then I get to the real nitty-gritty. I’m a plotter to the n’th degree and for every story I’ve written, I start out with a notebook. I write down what should happen in each chapter. Then I break down those chapters to scenes and then to pages. I end up with an in depth blueprint which outlines my story from beginning to end. I can pick it up at any time and start writing, whether I have fifteen minutes or three hours. Once my blueprint is finished, I can sit down at the computer and write. I love getting in the zone, when the words flow and the characters speak for themselves. My fingers fly over the keyboard and I don’t want to stop to take a break to do anything else. It’s so gratifying to see the number of pages I can cover with hopefully brilliant dialogue, perfect conflict, and lovable but flawed characters.  But of course, that doesn’t always happen. There are those days when the words are not coming to mind, the dialogue is forced or stilted and the conflict is cliché. Then, you just have to put something down on the page with the hope of rejuvenating those creative juices or walk away and do something else. Because my day job as a divorce lawyer takes up a lot of my time, I write at nights and on weekends when I can. It is not every day, since I often have night meetings or events that I must attend. I am on two boards (Dress for Success, Mercer County and The Thomas Edison State College Foundation) which require several hours a month as well. While my career and all its tentacles leave little time for writing, on the positive side, I do find that all of my experiences lead to interesting plots and richer characters. Hopefully, you will agree when you read “Unchained Memories.”  


Maria Imbalzano is a matrimonial lawyer in central New Jersey where she not only uses her law degree to navigate her clients through the court system, but her psychology degree to guide them through their personal struggles. While writing motions, legal memoranda, and briefs is fascinating, it pales in comparison to creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys. In addition to practicing law and writing fiction, Maria enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters either at home or at the Jersey Shore.   

Unchained Memories



As a rising medical malpractice attorney, Charlotte Taylor believes in standing up for the injured, giving them a voice, and advocating for their rights. She couldn’t do it for her mother, so she does it for others, even if it means losing the love of her life. Dr. Clayton Montgomery believes in working hard and playing even harder, until he reconnects with Charlotte. Barely noticing her crush when he tutored her ten years ago, Clay has a chance to make up for lost time when the beautiful lawyer comes back into town…until he discovers her chosen career path. Now, philosophical differences soon become a reality and Charlotte is faced with the choice of representing a client against the hospital and against Clay. Will Charlotte give up her career and her tribute to her mother for a second chance with the man who got away? Buy link:  Amazon- Website: Twitter: Facebook: Goodreads:


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