Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Debut Print Book: Waltz with a Stranger by Pamela Sherwood

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.

 Waltz with a Stranger by Pamela Sherwood

Name of debut release: Waltz with a Stranger

Release date: 12/04/2012

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

2 sentence summary: A man who never expected to inherit, a woman who never expected to wed, and a choice that pits their honor against their hearts. One dance will change their lives forever.

Genre: Historical Romance, Mystery

Characters: Aurelia Newbold, an American heiress lamed and scarred from a riding accident three years before the story begins. She’s convinced she is both undesirable and unmarriageable, unlike her beautiful twin sister who seems destined for a brilliant match.

James Trelawney–handsome, chivalrous, and kind–who draws Aurelia out of her shell for a secret waltz by moonlight and wins her heart. But can she ever hope to win his, especially after he succeeds to an earldom and her dazzling twin stakes a claim to his hand?

What makes this story different: A heroine who lives with permanent disability and disfigurement–no miracle cures, only the best treatment available at the time.

Twins whose sisterly bond is every bit as strong as their love for a man.

A triangle in which all three parties are sympathetic figures struggling to do the right thing–even when they’re no longer sure what the right thing is.

Is this a series?: The series is unnamed at this time.

Why you wrote this book: Several things inspired me to write Waltz with a Stranger: the transatlantic marriage market of the late 1800s, Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers, the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, and an early Tennyson poem, “The Sisters,” about a man who falls in love with identical twins. The poem ends tragically, but there’s no clear-cut villain–just three young people trying to do what they think is right and making a hopeless muddle of it. I wondered just how a happy ending could have emerged from all that confusion. The romantic triangle between the hero and the twins is at the heart of Waltz with a Stranger, but it is much more happily resolved than in the poem that inspired it!

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? I wrote and shopped one novel before Waltz with a Stranger. My first novel did win me representation with my agent and there were a number of readers who liked it, but as of this writing, it hasn’t yet found a home. So we set it aside for now, and focused on finishing Waltz with a Stranger, which sold quickly once it went out on submission.

What’s your writing process? I write in the early mornings when the house is quiet and in the evenings when all the cooking and clean-up is finished. I try to produce 1000 words a day. Sometimes I make my quota, sometimes I fall short, sometimes I hit a hot streak and go well beyond it. But having a projected goal tends to help.

So does having a general outline before I begin a project. It’s like having a road map before going on a trip: you need to know your starting point and your ultimate destination, even if you take some interesting detours along the way.

Your next published book. A Song at Twilight, a loose sequel to Waltz with a Stranger.

The last book you read that you loved. Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas

The last book you read for research. In a Gilded Cage: From Heiress to Duchess by Marian Fowler

The romance book character you most identify with. Harriet Vane in Gaudy Night–which isn’t strictly a romance, but has a major romantic subplot–mainly because she’s work-oriented, independent, slightly prickly, and rather sardonic, but capable of deep love all the same.

Pamela Sherwood

You can check out more about Pamela Sherwood and her books at


Guest Reviewer


  1. Aly
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 13:00:23

    I love the cover! I think I’d like it even more if the guy’s shirt was buttoned up. The cover reminds me of the movie “The House of Spirits” (great movie, even better book).

    A small suggestion about the posts on Dear Author: I really appreciate these posts about debut print authors, since I still prefer printed books instead of eBooks. But I’d also LOVE it if you posted about good older books (say, posted over 15 or 20 years ago). Readers like me, young adults and non-US citizens, who don’t come across older romance novels unless they specifically order them from abroad, would really appreciate it if you made that bridge.

  2. Pamela Sherwood
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 17:54:54

    Shirtless men and headless women! Those seem to be two trends authors can’t escape on their covers these day! As it is, I feel I kind of got lucky because this man is wearing a shirt, if an open one. Thank you for your interest–I’ll have to check out “The House of Spirits” sometime, in book or film form.

  3. Aly
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 18:07:20

    Yes, that’s true! Beggars can’t be choosers… it’s good enough that he’s wearing a shirt at all! :P

    I look forward to checking out the book!

  4. Pamela Sherwood
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 19:24:58

    Perhaps this would be a good time to warn you that the guy on my second book cover wasn’t quite as fortunate?

    Still, there are other elements on that cover that I do like very much, so I resolved to tolerate the mantitty!

  5. On the Road: The Tour, Week 3 « Blue Stockings & Crossed Genres
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 10:15:20

    […] Reading Between the Wines. Two interviews were logged on Wednesday, December 19, at Simply Ali and Dear Author, as part of their weekly Debut Print Author feature.  On Thursday, December 19, I participated in […]

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