Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Guest Post Acadian Waltz by Alexandrea Weis

Published: January 15th, 2013


At thirty, Nora Kehoe is feeling pressured to settle down. On a blind date, Nora unexpectedly ends up in the emergency room where she meets Dr. John Blessing. She hopes the pragmatic Dr. Blessing can make her life complete. Then, a passionate encounter with a childhood friend changes everything. 

The charismatic Jean Marc Gaspard manages the family business, Gaspard Fisheries. But rumors abound that Jean Marc is running more than seafood through the waters around Manchac Louisiana. When a family crisis sends Nora to Manchac, she is thrown headlong into the dangerous world of smugglers and swindlers. And as Jean Marc tries to protect Nora from his past, he realizes he may lose her because of it. 

The dark bayou waters run deep with secrets in Louisiana, and every Cajun knows how to dance the fine line between the right and wrong side of the law. But for strangers, learning the steps to staying alive in the swamps can be tricky. Life, and love, will be dependent on how well one can master the … Acadian Waltz.


Being a reader, I discovered that not many books in the romance market had characters in their twenties as the heroine. I wanted to write about a heroine going through the inner turmoil of heading into her thirties and the change in perspective that brings. I believe the over 30 female reader is woefully underrepresented in today's market. I set out to write a character that many women could relate to, and to cover issues that are part of getting older. I also wanted to tackle the foibles of marriage and parental expectations. A lot of books end at the "happily ever after" part in a story, but fail to cover the challenges of marriage. 

In Acadian Waltz, we find a woman, Nora Kehoe, thirty and grappling with the pressing issue of marriage, an oppressive mother, and searching for more in her life. Her decisions are not every woman's decisions, but I feel many women can relate to the issues she tries to cope with. Nora thinks she has found Mr. Right when she meets a doctor who seems to be everything her mother imagined, and turns into someone much more than she envisioned. She tries to make important life choices for her future, but is swayed by the influences of her mother and the people in her past. Eventually, Nora learns to listen to her desires and put those of her family to the wayside. At thirty, Nora, like many women, finds her ability to go beyond her financial independence of her family, but gains emotional independence, as well. Something I think many women in their thirties strive to achieve. It is a time when discovering your desires takes precedence, either through love, marriage, or starting a family. Because you are not the same person you were in your twenties when you are in your thirties. You are less prone to outside influence and value introspection more than you did during your younger years. 

How you see yourself will change as you live your life, encounter new experiences and grow as a person. In your twenties, you may have been a hard working career girl with no time for a social life. But, like the character of Nora, turning thirty places an emphasis on being a wife and mother. Inner confidence changes as your definition of who you are changes. In the character of Nora Kehoe in Acadian Waltz, I wanted to remind the reader that those life expectations change with every age, and one should always be willing to re-evaluate what makes you confident and happy at every stage of your life.

About the author:
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Her first novel, To My Senses, introduced readers to the world of Nicci Beauvoir and garnered numerous awards and rave reviews. Her popular second Nicci Beauvoir novel, Recovery, won the Gold Medal for best romantic suspense from The Reader’s Favorite Book Awards 2011, and was named best Romantic Suspense novel by the Spring 2011 NABE Pinnacle Book Awards. Her fourth novel, Broken Wings, won best Contemporary Romance by the NABE Pinnacle Book Awards in 2012, was a Silver Medal winner in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards for Romance, as well as a finalist in the USA Book Awards for Romance in 2012, and a finalist in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for Contemporary Romance for 2012. Diary of a One-Night Stand, was released in August 2012 and was named a Paranormal Romance Guild’s Best Reviewed of 2012. 

Her last novel, Acadian Waltz was a Readers’ Favorite Book Awards honorable mention winner for Best Contemporary Romance, and finalist in Best Southern Fiction. A permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

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