Happy Spotlight Sunday!
Born on the Island of Manhattan and relocated with her family to Northwestern New Jersey, Sara spent her life with a multitude of characters and stories spinning around in her head. It wasn’t until the Fates decided to give the string of her life a tug, bringing her romantic leanings together with her passion for the sport of cycling and Poof! A story was written to completion, much to her surprise.
Sara is a (self)published author of women’s fiction/sports romance novels, Wheeler and Wheeler: In Darkness, There is Still Light. A third novel, Wheeler: One Fire Burns Out Another’s Burning is currently in development to bring Loren’s story to completion.
The author resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with her husband and their son. Sara is a paralegal for a law firm in Chester County, PA, an avid road cyclist, and indoor cycling instructor at a national chain.
The Wheeler Series: One Fire Burns Out, Another’s Burning
The genre-busting trilogy of sports romance novels, Wheeler, written by local author, Sara Zalesky, gets its dramatic conclusion with One Fire Burns Out, Another’s Burning, released in May 2019.
Fans of the series are introduced to protagonist, Loren Mackenzie in Wheeler, where she is the cool, collected leader of an elite professional cycling team. When a chance encounter with actor Graham Atherton leads to a whirlwind romance, Loren’s carefully orchestrated life is thrown into chaos. Pressure builds to keep her secrets hidden under the eye of the tabloid media, and when a jealous rival pushes her to the brink, everything she has fought to achieve - her career, her relationships, even her sanity, is put in jeopardy.
Though Wheeler was recognized as an official selection of the 2017 New Apple Awards’ Cross-Genre Category, Zalesky doesn’t think of the series as bridging two distinct styles of sports romance and women’s fiction. Instead, the avid road cyclist and indoor cycling instructor sees the worlds of professional cycling and acting as a natural fit for a stirring romance.
“Both professions are intensely individual,” she notes, “and require the skill of balancing your own instincts against those of others. They also can be isolating, and all too often can involve periods of depression and anxiety. I thought characters with these experiences would understand each other.
“At the start of filming or a race, there’s a rush of energy and excitement, but you know you can’t go out too hard and charge ahead of the pack. You have to temper it. And, having teammates willing will burn themselves up for you to win is essential. Over the course of a long race, your rivals become allies and take turns doing the hard work at the front so the others can draft behind them. Kind of like being in a relationship.”
“Nothing worthwhile comes without a little bit of suffering.” Zalesky checks herself with a laugh. “It’s easy to forget whether I’m talking about cycling or love, since they’re such good metaphors for each other.”
With the second volume, In Darkness, There is Still Light, Loren is struggling to develop her relationship with Graham under the continuing strain of public scrutiny. Adding to the stress, a bittersweet reunion forces her to deal with emotions and memories of her childhood that were only hinted at in Wheeler.
The final volume, One Fire Burns Out Another’s Burning, finds Loren struggling to stay atop her professional game when a reporter hints at her involvement in a doping scandal. At the start of the racing season, rivals become allies and friends become adversaries, testing Loren in both mind and body, but she is determined to prove herself worthy of being a World Champion. Can she find a way to bring it all home?
As to what’s in store for Loren? Zalesky gives a knowing grin. “We'll have to see what the Fates have in store.”
The Wheeler series is available at your favorite e-book retailer and in print at Amazon.com.
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